your soul.


your story.


new worlds.


outside the lines.


Monday, July 25, 2011

GCC Tours Jennifer Echols and LOVE STORY

Love Story

By Jennifer Echols

From Jennifer Echols, the award-winning author of Going Too Far and Forget You, comes LOVE STORY(Gallery Books; July 19, 2011; $11.00), a provocative and powerful story of teen romance, set against the bustling world of a New York City university.

She’s writing about him. He’s writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.

“A tremendously talented writer with a real gift for developing relationships.”

– Romantic Times Magazine

Jennifer Echols is the author of teen romantic dramas for MTV Books and teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Please visit her online at

Because of the upcoming release of the anthology I co-edited, DEAR BULLY (HarperTeen, Sept. 6, 2011), I've asked all the members of the GCC to share a personal bullying story here during their blog tour. Jenn was kind enough to stop by and share hers with us. Check it out:

Thank you Megan!

I have known my husband for a long time. In fifth grade, when he moved to my hometown in Alabama, population 15,000, he was the only Asian in my school. He seemed to get along great with everybody. It was only after we started dating when we were in high school that he told me how mean some kids had always been to him because of his race. Today he is a salesman, and he is served well by his knack for making a connection with strangers. Now I understand that knack is partly natural, but partly cultivated out of necessity.

We still live in Alabama, and our biracial white and Asian child is pretty unusual around here. So far, he seems to share my husband’s social prowess, but I am always on high alert for signs that he is having trouble. I guess that’s why some of my books feature people of color who are having trouble fitting in. My latest book, LOVE STORY, goes in the opposite direction. The hero and heroine are both white, and they grew up on the same Kentucky farm. But they find it impossible to get along with each other or make a real connection, whereas their friendships with characters very different from them, with very different backgrounds, are never questioned. So sometimes I’m interested in addressing the problem head-on, and sometimes I like to create a little utopia, with the kind of unjudgmental friends I hope my son will have growing up.


By Jennifer Echols

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: July 19, 2011

Price: $11.00

ISBN: 9781439178324

Gallery Books is an imprint dedicated to publishing a wide variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics. The imprint was designed to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—in both fiction and nonfiction, and across a variety of genres. Some of Gallery Books’ bestselling titles include Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, sTori Telling by Tori Spelling, and Oh My Dog by Beth Stern. Upcoming titles include I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee, Gunn’s Golden Rules by Tim Gunn, I Remember You by Harriet Evans, and Lisa Genova’s new novel, Left Neglected.

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GCC Tours Melissa Walker and Small Town Sinners

MELISSA WALKER is one of our DEAR BULLY contributors, and before I tour her new book, SMALL TOWN SINNERS, Melissa is here to talk about her essay that she contributed to DEAR BULLY:

"Because of the essay I wrote for Dear Bully, I've had some old friends on my mind. There was a group of four of us in 8th grade, one of whom was sort of the ringleader of meanness. One day, the other three of us turned on her. But instead of saying, "Stop being mean," we ostracized her and cut her off completely. Not real mature.
In chronicling this episode for the anthology, another friend on the periphery of our circle, Beth, popped into my head. I remember that just after the showdown happened with my friends, she would ask me how this ostracized friend was doing, tell me she worried about her, hoped she was okay. It made me think about the "mean friend"'s side of things in a way I hadn't done before.

I reconnected with Beth on Facebook and told her about how much her 8th grade poise and wisdom impressed and stayed with me. She, naturally, coudn't remember the incident--it was just in her nature to be that kind. I can't wait to read the rest of the Dear Bully stories and hope that there are more full-circle moments for the authors who contributed and the readers who check it out. "

Readers should definitely check out SMALL TOWN SINNERS, which recently got this great review in the New York Times:

~~~~~~more about Melissa's new book~~~~~~~~~

It's Small Town Sinners' Book Birthday Week!

Does falling in love mean falling out of faith?

“Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion."

Read an excerpt.

A few reviews:

"Walker has written a credible and tender evocation of the moment when a young person’s beliefs begin to emerge and potentially diverge from the teachings of a family’s religion... Near the end, Lacey contemplates a verse from the prophet Isaiah: 'Come now and let us reason together.' It’s a good summation of what Walker asks of her characters and, by extension, of her readers." --The New York Times Book Review

"A non-judgmental, nuanced, fascinating look at the teenage religious right... Walker writes an outstanding contemporary novel with a cast of characters who, far from being portrayed as hateful zealots, are relatable for readers of all faiths. The extremism of Hell House is tempered by the perfectly understandable attitudes and intentions of Lacey Anne, who struggles with what it means to grow up, to question and to think for herself." --Romantic Times

"Both tender and provocative... Walker creates an astutely balanced portrait of a conservative congregation's in-your-face response to perennial issues of domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as of those who struggle to fit the prescribed Christian mold." --Publishers Weekly

So, it's out this week! The first week of a book's life is VERY important. And you can help me spread the word! Here's how:

1) Buy the book! To purchase your copy, please request it at your local bookstore, or you can get it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or various other convenient spots.

2) Shout it from the rooftops! Might I be so bold as to ask you to tell everyone you know about it? Tweet it. Facebook it. Goodreads it. Oh my! Look, handy buttons:

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3) Come see me read! I’ll be at Books of Wonder in NYC (18 W. 18th Street) on Thursday, July 28th with fellow authors Sarah Porter (Lost Voices) and Aprilynne Pike (Illusions).

4) Like my Author Page on Facebook. We may be friends on Facebook, but I'd also love it if you "Like" me there. Because you already do, right? Oh, and while you're at it, find me on twitter!



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GCC Tours Amanda Ashby and Fairy Bad Day

by Amanda Ashby

It’s going to be a fairy bad day.

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.

What people are saying:

"Teens with a taste for the paranormal school story and a tolerance for raucous humor will be involved with and amused by this romantic fantasy. The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews

"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly

“Great fairy fun from page one! If Buffy and Harry Potter got together and threw a magical slayer party, it would be the world Amanda Ashby created in Fairy Bad Day. With plenty of laugh-out-loud humor, emotional depth, and cute boy romance, reading this book will guarantee your day is fairy awesome.” Tera Lynn Childs, award-winning author of Oh. My. Gods. and Forgive My Fins

"Fairy Bad Day is fairy awesome supernatural slaying fun." Stacey Jay author of You are So Undead to Me and Undead Much

"I really liked that no matter how mad Emma wanted to be at Curtis, she just couldn't stay mad—not with those beautiful brown eyes and that lopsided grin. I loved the cover design, it really drew me in. This was a very good book and I would highly recommend it."— School Library Journal Vanessa, age 12


As we get closer to the pub date of DEAR BULLY, I'm asking all of our Girlfriend Cyber Circuit members to share an experience or their thoughts on bullying -- a trend that is growing at an alarming rate.

Here's what Amanda had to say:

Unfortunately, not all of our friends are who we think they are. I have two kids at school and the amount of bullying behavior that goes on within their groups is terrifying. Because of it I’m always reminding them that friends don’t make you feel bad.

Unfortunately, it sometimes seems to me that it’s actually harder to walk away from the bully who you know and have shared some good times with than the bully who you don’t like. But, it does bear repeating, friends don’t make you feel bad. So if you have someone in your group who is bullying you, no matter how hard it is to step away (and I really do know how difficult this can be, especially if ‘everyone’ else is still friends with them) a true friend is someone who supports you, not one who teases, or hurts you or tries to sabotage your happiness.
I’m a great believer in friendship and in Fairy Bad Day there is no way that Emma would’ve been able to face her challenges without the help of her friends. I think this is the same in real life as well. Our friends help us when things are going wrong and they laugh and celebrate with us when things are going right.


Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, and has spent the last fifteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand before finally deciding that to move home. When she's not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. As well as writing, she works part-time at the children/teen desk of her local library, which basically means that someone pays her to talk about books. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010.!/amandaashby/
Fairy Bad Day ~ Puffin June 9th 2011 Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic #1 Wishful Thinking ~ Puffin Summer 2012