Thursday, October 31, 2013


So thrilled today to help reveal the brand-spanking new cover for my friend Kristin Rae's forthcoming WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, an adorable and romantic contemporary (cute boys! Italy! gelato! pizza! cute boys!) that will be out in May from Bloomsbury. Kristin is my Starbucks writing partner, and I couldn't be more excited for her as I've watched her go from drafting to pitching to agented to sold to this!

Isn't it the best??

Here's what you can expect in WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN (May 6, 2014, Bloomsbury), blurbed by the fabulous Lindsey Leavitt!

Pippa always wanted to go to Italy, but not by herself. And not to sit in a classroom the summer before senior year learning about paintings by dead guys. Tempted by the romance of Rome and the chance to photograph ancient ruins, Pippa ditches the program and sets her own list of goals—get my picture taken at the Colosseum; get a makeover; fall in love with an Italian.
She befriends a local girl whose gorgeous cousin may be just the Italian Pippa’s looking for, but the road to amore gets detoured when she keeps running into a cute American student. And she can’t forget that her summer abroad is only temporary. As she explores the famous cities of Rome and Pompeii, Pippa must sort out her feelings before her parents figure out where she really is.


“With Italy's brilliant landscapes, a main character you'll love from the first line and a new dreamy book boyfriend (he's mine!), WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN is a charming and addictive read. Devour this delicious treat like a double scoop of gelato.” —Lindsey Leavitt, author of Going Vintage and Sean Griswold’s Head.

I know, right? I want gelato now. And a trip to Italy. And you know that things are going to turn out in different ways than Pippa expects, right?

Kristin has actually been to Italy (but of course!) and here are some of places and things that inspired this story, along with her own words about them:

The gelato, of course!
KR: Gelato plays a big part in Pippa’s story, but I won’t give anything away! There’s really nothing quite like authentic Italian gelato. It was actually hard for me to eat ice cream once we came back home after our trip to Italy. I think it’s the texture and unique flavors that sets it apart. My favorites were mint and stracciatella, though, like Pippa does, I had to at least TASTE the pistachio! I don’t know how they get a nut to taste good as ice cream, but they do!

The view!
KR: It’s a dream come true for Pippa to photograph ancient ruins and historic monuments like the Colosseum, but quite a lot of the story takes place in a coastal region called Cinque Terre (“five lands” – pronounced CHING-kway TAY-ray). The views have to be seen to be believed, the food is the best I’ve ever eaten (it’s the birthplace of pesto!), and it’s ROMANTIC! You can even walk on a path between all five villages along the coast, shopping and sampling food in each. I think about going back there EVERY DAY.

And oh my, the pizza!
Pippa’s from Chicago, so she’s had her fair share of deep-dish pizzas! But she’s quickly won over by the simplicity of Italian pizzas and the papery thin crusts. She makes it one of her summer goals to eat entire pizza by herself. If I get a chance to visit Italy again one day, I think this will be a goal of mine too! DELIZIOSO

I say that we all need to pre-order WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN today!

Want to hang out on line with Kristin Rae? Here's where you can find her and WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Thinking about the fanfic subplot of Fangirl and about the ending of Allegiant this morning. (You think there is no connection. But there is, trust me. And some serious thoughts about fiction-writing) And so today's question: Is self-sacrifice the bravest act? Or is living? Thoughts?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back to the Windy City

Went home last weekend--visiting Chicago family and also fortunate enough to sign THE SWEET DEAD LIFE at Anderson's in Naperville. It's a funny thing about me and Naperville, IL: my first teaching job after Northwestern was in that suburb (English, comp., and also I was the worst volleyball coach ever, which I can admit now even though my JV team won most of their games), and then some years down the road, my first novel, DREAMING ANASTASIA was published by Sourcebooks whose headquarters is in, yup, Naperville. And so here I was again, last Sunday, honored to appear at Anderson's, which is an amazing indie and was kind enough to invite me to sign.

Let me interject that I'm catching up on Vampire Diaries as I type this and I'm a tad tired of evil, angsty, troubled Stefan. And now… vampire amnesia. Oh Stefan. I am never tired of Damon. Like not ever. And I haven't caught up with The Originals yet, but eventually I will. Unless you think it's not worth my effort. Anyone?

Okay, back now:

Beach near where I grew up!
It was a good Chicago trip: cold enough for me to feel like a got a dose of actual fall and filled with family and food and wonderful friends and fans who came out to Anderson's and made me feel awesome while we talked Texas angels Jenna and Casey and what's to come with next year's THE A-WORD. I love that this series has a different take on angels. I love that my angels are grumpy and angsty and imperfect and something more than just vampire substitutes. And that many of the humans in the story have no clue that they're interacting with heavenly beings. And that at its core it's story of family as much as it's a mystery and a growing love story. Plus there was Lake Michigan!

Here are some pics:

Started the trip at SuperDawg, my favorite hot dog stand

Where I ate a SuperDawg and fries. (hot dog is buried under there)
Also, there's this on top of the place
Then it was on to Anderson's where my family came to hang! (Even though the Bears were playing)

And I talked about THE SWEET DEAD LIFE

And about angels and Soho Press and other stuff

And we captured my cousin Kurt's new shoes in the wild

And then I read a little.

A really good time was had by all!