Swoon At Your Own Risk Release Day Prize!

Time for presents–today is Swoon At Your Own Risk‘s official birthday!!!

Enter to win a BIG beach bag, a soft beach towel, a reusable water bottle, and a signed copy of Swoon At Your Own Risk. Of course, if you’d like to rush out and buy your own copy today, I won’t try to stop you. You can also find it online at Amazon.com, B&N.com, or Indibound.

Here’s a review from Booklist:

Boy crazy in a house full of women, Polly is facing a summer nightmare of working a crummy water park job being supervised by an ex—and in a bathing suit no less! Hoping to learn from her advice-columnist grandmother, Polly swears off guys and tries to improve herself by following “Miss Swoon’s” affirmations and attempting to mend a rift with her best friend, Jane. Unfortunately, skater/poet (and formerly weird neighbor kid) Xander keeps showing up at the park to babysit relatives and catches Polly’s eye. Polly uses humor to deflect most real conversations, which makes her the life of the party but leaves her lacking in the serious-relationship department. What appears to be a frothy summer confection delves into some heftier emotions as the underlying issues motivating Polly’s actions, as well as those of her mom and grandma, are uncovered. Each chapter ends with snippets from Miss Swoon’s advice columns, Xander’s poetic observations about Polly, or entries from a coworker’s gossip blog. –Heather Booth (Booklist)
Leave a comment by midnight April 18, 2010 to enter!
Open to swimmers and readers everywhere.

In My Mailbox (12)

The most exciting thing I got in my mailbox: my Swoon At Your Own Risk ARCS! And I’m sending them on tour.

If you’re a blogger/reviewer, you can sign up to read a copy at 1 ARC Tours.

Here are the other books I received in the mail (I also read them this week):
Haven by Beverly Patt
A story about an unlikely friendship between a girl in a group home and a boy desperate for an ATV.
Why I’m excited:
Our last Class of 2k9 book has hit the shelves! I loved the authentic boy voice in this novel & I learned a lot about how the foster care system used to work (very sad!).
Shadow by Jenny Moss
A girl assigned to “shadow” her queen to protect her, finds herself on quite a journey in this story full of romance, mystery, and palace intrigue.
Why I’m excited:
I have to admit that I don’t read many princess books, so I reluctantly picked this one up, having really enjoyed Jenny’s first novel Winnie’s War. And I just got swept away! I loved all the romance and the twists and turns in the plot.
Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

Swooning Over The 1st Look Inside

One of my absolute favorite parts of the publishing process is getting that bulky package of 1st Pass Pages in the mail. I got so excited when Swoon At Your Own Risk arrived on my doorstep last week that I possibly frightened my UPS man with my delighted squeals.

1st Pass Pages show the exact layout of the book. Doesn’t the title look cute?


I also love seeing what the chapter titles are going to look like and seeing the story set up like a real book:

Plus Swoon At Your Own Risks has a bunch of extra stuff like advice columns, journal entries, and blogs in different fonts:
My job is to read through the whole story and look for mistakes and send it back to my editor. I felt kind of sad after sending the package off to New York–I’ve had so much fun working on this book. (I probably frightened that UPS guy for loving a big stack of paper so much.)

I’m all done, now it’s the readers’ turn!

Ouch! Copy Edits


For the past week I’ve been working on copy edits for Swoon At Your Own Risk, my young adult novel that comes out April 5, 2010.

The copy edit stage (which comes after story revisions are complete) always makes me wince with ignorance. I almost always discover that I’ve been spelling something wrong for my entire life. This time I misspelled “lightning” as in a big storm (I wrote “lightening” as in what happens to blond hair in the sun). 
I also discovered that I really don’t understand the concept of hyphenation (apparently things change when adjectives get involved). And of course I had many stray commas floating around the story–like confetti!
And then there were all the consistency problems. Stuff I said on page 37 didn’t jibe with stuff I said on page 88. Plenty of other stuff didn’t make sense either. So I rewrote, clarified, and cringed.
But I really, truly love copy editors. They’re like the friend you can always count on to tell you the brutal truth. I wish I could take my copy editor with me when I go shopping for jeans!