Kim vs. the Mean Girl is FREE!!

Happy Sunday!

This is a quickie post to announce the exciting news that KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is FREE on Amazon and will remain at that low (can’t get any lower unless I PAID you to buy it) price through Thursday, December 14th.

KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is my only contemporary YA novel, but it’s also related to my adult romantic comedy BLOGGER GIRL series in that it features many of the same characters, but in high school—in the fall of 2000! This is before Facebook and smart phones. It’s retro!

For what it’s worth, my parents AND my sister told me this is their favorite of all my books. They said it’s adorable, clever, funny, and charming. My mom also used the word “brilliant.”

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These guys LOVE Kim vs. the Mean Girl!!

You should see for yourself. Did I mention it’s FREE?

FREE

weekend musings

After two different people told me this week how much they enjoyed reading my blog posts, particularly the more personal ones, I knew what I had to do—write a blog post, obviously!

The weather is sort of crappy today, but it didn’t bother me because I had obligations that kept me from enjoying the outdoors anyway. After a morning excursion to the gym, I spent several hours working on my eighth novel, the third installment of my Blogger Girl series. Now I’m doing laundry while I simultaneously write this blog.

Let’s continue where we left off last time. I’m convinced that online dating is not the way to go for me. I haven’t had any desire to meet the various men who have reached out to me. The one guy I was corresponding with before my vacation to Barbados disappeared before we could set up a date. The fact that I wasn’t at all surprised or disappointed spoke volumes as to my actual interest. The truth is, I’m incapable of getting excited about someone until we meet face-to-face and until that happens, I have nothing vested.

Since I brought up Barbados, let’s change direction, shall we? I spent six days there with five of my girlfriends over Memorial Day and it was wonderful! It was my third time there because it’s a triple threat—aside from an occasional brief thunderstorm, the weather is amazing; the seafood is fresh and delicious, and the people are super friendly. Rest, relaxation, cocktails in the pool, amazing food, and time with my besties? Yes please.

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I didn’t want to come home, but I softened the blow by taking a few extra days off from work. I caught up on the writing I didn’t do in Barbados, met up with the president of my publishing company, Henery Press, who was in town for the Book Expo America conference, and attended a cousin’s wedding with my family. I also got home just in time to watch the newly streaming third season of Bloodline. Anyone else watching it?

Back to dating. One of my author friends wants to set me up with someone—her friend’s friend. Apparently, he was very excited to get in touch with me. I gave my friend the go-ahead and haven’t heard a peep yet—shocker. Again, nothing vested. I’m also strapped for time right now due to writing obligations so it’s best not to go out of my way to add things to my social schedule. Which brings me to deadlines!

I have until September 1st to deliver my next book to my editor. I’m heading toward the end of my first draft and gave myself a self-imposed deadline of August 1st to finish. I already sent the first two hundred pages to my beta readers to give them a head start. I’m nervous because summertime always brings more social outings and I hate to miss out on excursions with my friends. I’m already stressed out about the plans I’ve made so far. My oldest sister is also visiting from Denver in late July and my close friend from Seattle in August. I need to reserve enough time to write in between my day job and all this fun stuff. On top of that, as much as I love being social, I’m an introvert at heart who is not only very comfortable with alone time, but craves it. I need it to recharge. It’s one of the reasons I’m very selective about who I date. I have very limited free time as it is and I need to enjoy my time with him as much as and hopefully more than my “me” time. That’s my test. Most men don’t make the cut, but I’m confident he’s out there. Maybe I already know him and we just haven’t crossed the line from friends to more yet. Anything is possible!

Before I bid you adieu, heads up that I will be announcing the title of my next stand-alone romantic comedy in my next blog, shortly after July 4th. I am more excited about this new release than any of my others so far. (Although I probably always say that.) Maybe I’ll also share my pictures from the mini-break I’m taking to the vineyards in Connecticut over the holiday.

Finally, my contemporary young adult novel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl, is currently on sale for $0.99 cents. If you haven’t picked it up yet, this would be a good time to get it
cheap. It’s a great read  🙂

simply catching up

Today, I’m not revealing a book cover or announcing a new release, I’m just going to share a few thoughts currently on my mind.

I broke down and joined an online dating site last month. I’m not going all-in and revolving my life around “the search,” but I check out my matches every couple of days and have been on two dates already. I still hope to meet someone through introductions or simply living my life and doing the things I enjoy, but as the old saying goes, “it only takes one.” So far, there are two things that totally turn me off about many of the profiles I’m seeing. One: the negativity. “Please be local. Not looking for long-distance ladies!” “None of this lunch date nonsense. If you can’t spare an evening for dinner, how are you going to have time for a relationship?” “Please no pictures of you with your pets.” I shudder when I read profiles like this. How about posting what you do want and simply ignoring the profiles that don’t meet your criteria? By doing it your way, you sound bossy, full of yourself, and not like anybody I’d want to date.

But even more repulsive, to me, are the men who say they are looking for women who, at their oldest, are still ten years younger than them. If you’re a forty-eight-year-old man who isn’t even willing to meet someone even five years younger than you (or God forbid a year older), you better have the body of Channing Tatum, the brains/success of Jeff Bezos, and the sense of humor of Jimmy Fallon. And you know you don’t. Get over yourself. Even when my age falls into their criteria, it really turns me off.

If you’re dating or can remember back that far, what are/were some of your biggest turn offs?

Moving on. What is with this new trend in men’s tailoring where the pant length is so short? I don’t care if it’s the newest thing, high-waters are not attractive. I was on the street next to a very well-dressed, attractive thirty/forty-something man. Naturally, I checked him out. I was “yea” until I saw his ankle-exposing pants and it was all “nay” from there. Just because it’s in style, doesn’t mean it looks good. What do you all think of this new trend: Yea or Nay?

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I love my blog, but with all the hype about newsletters, I’ve set one up on Mailchimp. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to use it, but I know my subscribers will get treats likely not accessible to anyone else, whether it be free books, giveaways, or first-looks at new covers/titles. The sign-up is below and also on the right sidebar of my website. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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I’ll be announcing the title of my November release with Henery Press in June. I’m beyond excited about this book! While I finalize the editing process and await the cover art, I’m working on the third Blogger Girl book, releasing in April, 2018. I’m planning a wedding, something I’ve never had to do before, and my street team already helped me choose the flavor for my couple’s wedding cake. If you’re interested in joining the street team, please reach out for details.

Finally, I’m giving away two print copies of Kim vs. the Mean Girl on Goodreads. Enter between now and May 31st. (U.S. only.)

I think that’s enough for today. I have a client manuscript critique to work on, a monthly word count to meet, and dinner plans tonight. And I haven’t even showered yet. TMI?

Until next time.

Happy Release day! Kim vs. the Mean Girl

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut contemporary young adult novel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl, is now available!

Kindle (Paperback should be up any minute now…)

Nook

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High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, set in 2000, but is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series. Told in the dual perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan), and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

Although the characters were plucked off the pages of my adult Blogger Girl series, the new book can be read as a standalone as well. I recommend to both fans of the adult books and readers of humorous and clean contemporary young adult fiction like Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, Julie Buxbaum, and Rainbow Rowell. I consider this book a cross between The Carrie Diaries and Mean Girls with a little bit of Girl Meets World thrown in. It’s more Gilmore Girls than Gossip Girl.

I had a blast writing this book and hope my passion for the characters shines through in the pages. Stay tuned for future posts on my casting choices should Kim vs. the Mean Girl be made into a movie 🙂

I gasped in horror as I rummaged through my memory, trying to remember what I’d written down and which of my innermost thoughts Hannah might divulge to my entire class. I pressed my eyes shut and prayed she’d choose one of the lame, off-the-cuff comments I made about my parents and not … please not … something about Jonathan. Oh, God, I wrote about Jonathan in my diary—a lot—never ever intending for anyone to read it. The whole point of a diary was to journal private, personal musings. But as surely as I was the smallest girl in our class, my thoughts were about to be the opposite of secret.

I dared to turn my head a fraction so I could see what Jonathan was doing. He was staring at Hannah, his lips parted as if to speak, but he didn’t say a word.

I leaned forward in my chair, paralyzed. I knew I should stop her—stand up, say something—but I couldn’t will my legs to move or my mouth to open. And so, like a person who steps onto the tracks as a train is approaching, I prepared for impact. Maybe she’d show me some mercy and keep the Jonathan stuff between us. Even Hannah couldn’t be that cruel. Could she? 

Cover reveal: Kim vs. the Mean Girl

As promised, here it is! I hope you love it as much as I do.

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The big release is April 20th, but it’s already up on Goodreads if you’d like to add it to your shelves.

I can’t wait to share this book with you. I hope you’ll love reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What do you think about the cover?

 

Kim vs. the Mean Girl: blurb

“Even when Hannah acts like a she-devil, she manages to come out looking like Maria from The Sound of Music.” – Kim Long

“Kim Long without a story to read was like a dog without its chew toy.” – Hannah Marshak

As many of you know, I planned to release Kim vs. the Mean Girl, the contemporary young adult prequel to Blogger Girl, last summer. The time frame was upended when my former publisher closed its doors, but I had every intention of putting it out at some point. I’m excited to be able to say the time is almost here.  Since my new publisher, Henery Press, doesn’t publish young adult, I’m going to self-publish it this spring. I like the idea of having complete control over the pricing as well as the freedom to co-promote with the adult books in the series. Self-publishing is also on my bucket list of things to do even though it scares me.  I’ve yet to set a precise date for a couple of reasons. I need to meet a late March deadline to return my next romantic comedy to my editor at Henery Press first. Also, I’ve never self-published before and I have no idea what I’m doing! Thankfully, I have friends who’ve assured me they’ll walk me through it. But I’m hesitant to put a publishing date in writing until I’m confident I’m ready.

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I’d like to release sometime in April, but it doesn’t mean I can’t share the blurb, cover art, and excerpts before then. Since the cover is still “in progress,” I’ll start with the blurb:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

The book is a cross between The Carrie Diaries and Mean Girls with a little Girl Meets World thrown in. It’s a clean read with a tone that’s been compared to Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. I cannot wait to share it with you!

how I spent my “vacation” from being a published author

You might recall the blog I posted in May of 2016 when I told you how my publisher was closing its doors and my books would be temporarily unavailable. I confessed that I had no idea what would become of them, but promised I was working on it. I posted another blog in July, 2016 reporting that I’d signed a seven-book publishing contract with Henery Press, who would be re-publishing modified versions of the novels in February, 2017.

Last summer, I remember thinking that seven months was a really long time to wait for my book babies to be available again for sale. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it! Believe it or not, the time flew by and now the wait is finally (almost) over. The release date of February 14th is next week!

You might be wondering how I spent those long seventh months. Well, even if you’re not the slightest bit curious, I will tell you. I was a busy bee, or more accurately, a busy chicken! (Henery Press, Hen House, chicken, *clears throat* you get the joke, right? Moving on…)

Since I signed my contract on July 13, 2016, here’s an overview of how I spent my time:

  1. Edits of Blogger Girl – moderate in nature.
  2. Edits of Novelista Girl – minor revisions.
  3. Brief break from editing during which I worked on my seventh novel (due for publication in November 2017), details to be disclosed at a later date.
  4. Edits of A State of Jane – heavy lifting.
  5. Edits of How Do You Know? – minor revisions.
  6. Edits of Just Friends With Benefits – completely rewrite from the original version! Same characters, same basic premise, but a different story for sure.
  7. Brief break while I continued working on my seventh novel.
  8. Reviewed proofed ARCs of Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl for final changes.
  9. Reviewed proofed ARCs of A State of Jane and How Do You Know? for final changes.
  10. Additional round of edits of Just Friends With Benefits and review of ARC for final changes.
  11. Wrote acknowledgments and dedications for all five novels.
  12. Finished first draft of seventh novel, conducted several rounds of self-edits, and sent to beta readers.
  13. Started eighth book (third installment of Blogger Girl series due for publication in March, 2018).
  14. Revised seventh novel based on thorough comments from beta readers.
  15. Made final adjustments to my sixth novel, Kim vs. The Mean Girl, to be self-published in April, 2017 and sent to formatter. Scheduled cover artist to begin work in mid-February.
  16. Finished seventh novel and sent to my editor at Henery Press (yesterday!)

And there you have it—how I spent my seventh-month hiatus from being a published author. It was far from a break. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder in my life. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing. It got me to where I am now—nine days away from the big release day.

How will I ever wait that long?