We’re on day four of my Simon Pulse Blog Gala and still going strong! First off, the prerequisite pitch for my book, Read My Lips… if you haven't picked up a copy of READ MY LIPS yet, you can find it here on Amazon.com or in your local bookstore. And if you just stumbled across my blog and are wondering what the fuss is all about, read an excerpt of my brand new YA novel, READ MY LIPS, here.
Okay, the winner of Melissa De La Cruz’s Sun-Kissed is Joanne Levy!
The winner of Niki Burnham’s Goddess Games is BookChic!
Congrats! I will be getting in touch with you shortly about your prize!
Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the Grand Prize… 15 fabulous Simon Pulse Books! You can check out the rules and see the prize, here.
And I have a heck of a surprise for you at the bottom of the post, so make sure to read all the way down through our fabulous guests!
Let’s move write on to the first guest author today, the incredible Lisa Schroeder, author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me!
Woo hoo – thanks for inviting me to your party, Teri! I loved your book, and I’m sure it’s going to be a huge success. Here, I brought you some lip-shaped sugar cookies for the occasion. I know, I know, they look more like blobs than lips, but they are de-lish!
When I started thinking about what to write for this guest blog post, I realized I have had my fair share of “fish out of water” moments. Like the time I was thirteen and went to horse camp and everyone knew what Preparation H was used for except me. I don’t know who decided that my lack of knowledge in pharmaceuticals made me a prime target for teasing the entire week, but they didn’t let up and they wouldn’t let me in on the joke. There was also the summer before my senior year, when I put my foot under the lawn mower and had to walk around with a humongous bandage on my big toe all summer. Yeah, so while the rest of my friends jumped into Foster Lake, I sat on the shore feeling sorry for myself. A fish out of water? Absolutely.
It’s human nature to want to belong. To feel like we fit in, like Serena so desperately wants to fit in at her new school. And yet, some of the people I admire the most are people who would be considered fish out of water. People like Ghandi, Leonardo Da Vinci, and yes, even my wonderful, brilliant, unique thirteen-year-old son. Almost every day he’s given a hard time by someone at school because he doesn’t “fit in.”
When I started writing I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, it came out in verse. I wrote a few pages and then I stopped. I thought, what am I doing? I can’t do it this way. It’s too different. Too weird. I’d heard novels-in-verse were a tough sell. As if getting published wasn’t hard enough, I was now going to make it even harder? But ultimately, I knew I had to be true to the voice and to the story and tell it the way it wanted to be told.
Yes, my book is different. Some people aren’t going to like it. And that’s okay. I’m guessing there isn’t a single book out there that’s liked by every person who reads it. The more important thing to me is that there are kids who have e-mailed me and told me how they don’t usually like to read. But they read my book. And they want to read more like it.
So here’s what I think. A fish out of water shouldn’t look longingly at the water and cry. Instead, he should look at the birds in the sky, find his wings, and fly.
Thanks Lisa… I love flying fish!
Next up, we have another Lisa! The fabulous creator of the irrepressible Imogene of Project Paris and Accidentally Fabulous.
Welcome Lisa! (Didn’t I just say that?)
In life timing is everything. After three years of unconditional service, my devoted companion, (aka espresso maker), who’d seen me through a series of back-to-back book deadlines, finally kicked the bucket. I took that as a sign. (Then again I take everything as a sign.) With my final deadline dreamily fading to memory, not only was it time to shop for a new espresso maker, it was also time to put any recessive agoraphobic/reclusive tendencies to rest and get back into the world of the living. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to do that.
Enter BFF. Every girl needs a friend who will drag her to the opening of an envelope. As luck would have it, this envelope, was filled with two tickets to the designgawd of the century’s much coveted fall ’08 fashion show and reception. Naturally, news of this released a stream of complex chemicals within my brain, promising long life, the purest love, and eternal youth. It seemed just the thing to resuscitate my life. Yet one nagging question lingered in the back of my mind as I turned on the shower. What to wear?
I arrived to find the entire Greenwich fire department prying open the glass elevator door that lead to said designgawd’s in-store boutique. The elevator had obviously jammed itself between floors and the Jaws of Life had been employed to free its captives. All eyes were glued (not only on the hunky firemen, but) on the elevator, which looked like a cross between a giant fish tank and a Vogue fashion shoot. Trapped inside the glass elevator were a bevy of well-dressed, well-groomed women ala Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.
I, conversely, was dressed head to toe in forced vintage. (You’ll understand better shortly.) I looked as if I’d just stepped out of a time machine. My pink lame Maud Frizon cone heel pumps circa 1985, (which I bought in 2003 at my fave vintage shop in L.A.), and an old Norma Kamali jersey number (the Ungaro, circa 1999, refused to slide over my hips, which had apparently gone on strike after the birth of my son, and to date have snubbed my repeated appeals to budge).
I scanned the crowd. No sign of BFF. Instead, I found a great spot to view the action, yet avoid the probing lens of the roving photographer, still bewildered as to the all-pervasive chic that emerged while I was away slaving in my little writer’s hovel. When did Carrie Bradshaw sprinkle her fairy dust over Greenwich? And why wasn’t I notified?? Someone with a shiny tray of sushi, danced past me as I declined her offer. (I was secretly hoping for truffle risotto and peach Jell-O shots but noo…). And then, just as someone shoved a Cosmopolitan into my hand (copy cats!), someone else shouted:
It was Rene, my in-name only personal shopper, though I wondered if that status hadn’t changed a bit given the fact I hadn’t seen her in a while––do personal shoppers come with an expiration date?
Rene looked me over, employing her professional, p.s. eye. Unsurprisingly, her expression registered confusion, which quickly morphed to sympathy. I felt uncomfortable. I searched for a descriptive word to help me understand the distinct emotion bubbling up inside me. It finally hit me. I mean you don’t have to calculate square roots the long way to know that weird feeling we girls feel from time to time. It was shame. Clothes shame. I felt like a fish out of water, an alien in a strange and unfamiliar land. Laid bare was all the fear and insecurity reminiscent of adolescence. I mean, who knew that that was lurking inside me––hiding out like some weird virus of unknown origins. Shouldn’t I have outgrown those feelings by now? The firemen didn’t seem to have a problem with what they were wearing. I mean, I can’t remember when shoulder-to-toe rubber, and pointy brimmed Day-Glo hard hats were last in fashion.
“You know the big sale’s starting. You have to come in first thing Monday and I’ll fix you up … not to worry.” I’m worried.
An old friend—a parent from my son’s school appeared, hurling air kisses around my head, just as Rene’s client shrieked her name. I mumbled a good-bye and promised to come by next week.
“Ohmigod, Lee! Where have you been hiding?” she cooed. Her eyes traced my fine facial lines, no doubt in search of some message encrypted there as to whether or not my strange get up was a portent of an emerging new trend. “I loooove vintage. But my husband would just freak if I wore something like that out of the house…”
Ohgawd, what was I thinking!!
Finally, BFF appeared.
“What’s the matter with you?”
“I feel out of place.”
My statement needed no further explanation. She was after all, dressed to a Samantha tee.
“You don’t have to wear the latest and greatest. You’re creative.”
Eww (which, in point of fact, rhymes with boo-hoo)!
As the reception wore on, designgawd-dujour flitted from one fashion clique to the next, fielding questions from his clientele, while their personal shoppers scribbled down their selections. I managed to forget myself by placing my attention squarely on the Collection, and considered what purchasing one or two new pieces would do for my bruised fashion ego.
When I finally arrived back home. I ripped off my dress, kicked my shoes skyward, and swung through my walk-in closet, past the jungle weeds otherwise known as my wardrobe. I headed straight toward the big box I’d been saving for our upcoming move, and began throwing anything even remotely vintage into it. I wouldn’t rest until every last Gaultier bullet bra and Thierry Mugler shoulder pad was in that box.
Finally I was done. It was ten past twelve. I was still restless, which I attributed to a few rogue adrenaline molecules, still circulating through my bloodstream, so I mindlessly flipped on the TV and my computer. A TBS rerun of SATC was on. Great. (Sarcasm!) My email pinged, just as Carrie uttered the words:
“Vintage is the new black!”
Before the implications of that quote could register. I double clicked on the one and only message in my in-box. It was a confirmation that my new espresso maker was shipped and would arrive in the morning––just in time for the start of another writing stint.
I un-taped the box I’d labeled SALVATION ARMY, still reeking of Sharpie fumes, and pulled out a fuchsia Thierry Mugler silk charmeuse dress with heart-shaped, keyhole neckline (circa 1989), and wriggled it over my head. Perfect timing.
Thanks Lisa… fabulous story!
Okay… now for my next surprise. When I first imagine becoming a published novelist, I knew I wanted to do something big to celebrate, I just wasn’t sure what. I wanted it to be something fairly monumental that would stay with me forever. So without further ado….
TADA! I know, the pix is blurry and the tattoo is a little red still... I guess it takes a couple of weeks to calm down... but isn't it purty?
See, it's like the book cover...
EDIT: IT'S ON MY ANKLE, PEOPLE!! MY ANKLE!