Em & Em Cover Reveal

Em and EmThis week was the cover reveal for EM & EM, being released from Swoon Romance on September 15. I loved my cover for THE FUNERAL SINGER, and if it’s possible, I think I may love this one even more.

EM & EM is a sweet romance, but it has a little bit of a dark side, and feel like the designer did a great job of striking the perfect tone.

I’ve heard a couple of theories already about the heart. One commenter on a blog that participated in the cover reveal said it reminded her of the saying, “Can a zebra change its stripes?” My sister Karen said she thought the stripes represented Em/Em’s dual identity, her light side and her dark side. I love both theories!

Here’s the promo description of the book. What do you think the heart means?

The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.

Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper’s editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.

When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends—well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her—and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.

But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is—Em or Em.

Book News! Part 2

My brief trip this weekend to the Romance Writers of America 2015 Annual Convention in New York was a blast! It’s always so much fun to connect with my tribe: fellow writers, and especially fellow YA romance writers. Truly the nicest people on the face of the earth.

The location of the event was awesome. Here is a shot of the view from my hotel room:

nyny

Yes, that’s Broadway down there. Bright lights, big city, and basically fun, fun, fun central. A horrible spot for a hotel room if you actually want to sleep, but lucky for me, sleep was not high on my priority list.

Before the event, I met up with two dear friends, fabulous YA author Lisa Amowitz and rock star middle-grade author Kate Chell Milford, for a 3.5-hour lunch at O’Lunney’s Irish Pub. Caught up on a bunch of the latest publishing world gossip and had the most AMAZING hard pear cider. I highly recommend it if you’re in that neighborhood. Many thanks to Lisa (on the left) for her mad selfie-taking skills. Can’t you tell she’s an artist by the way she tilted the angle just so?

cudas

Next it was on to the YARWA “Evening of YA.” What do you get when you put about 90 YA romance authors in a room together? Lots of estrogen. And beautiful smiles. And laughter. And did I mention the niceness? So, yeah, a very fun night.

Capped off with:

rosemary_awardYay! My third book (which does not yet have a firm publication date), THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, won first place in the YARWA Rosemary Award for Contemporary Fiction.

I was so thrilled, and this vote of confidence for the manuscript makes me so excited to finish and polish it up so I can share it with the world!

Coming up in my next post: EM & EM cover reveal excitement.

 

Book News!

So as I mentioned in my last post, I have some exciting news on the writing and publishing front. Some of you probably already know about it because I tend to share and squeal and generally blow up my followers’ Facebook feeds when anything the least bit cool happens …  which I won’t apologize for, because as I always tell fellow writers, in this business you have to celebrate every victory, even the small ones. Publishing is full of heartache, so it’s important to enjoy the good parts!

Anyhoo … about that news. Well, first off, I have another book coming out this fall! Here is the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

THE FUNERAL SINGER author Linda Budzinski’s EM & EM, in which a sixteen year old Jersey girl experiences an epic do-over as she’s forced into witness protection in the Midwest, to Georgia McBride of Swoon Romance for Publication in fall 2015 by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger.

The publication date is currently set for October 27, 2015, which will be here before we know it! I’ve seen a draft of the cover and I LOVE it! Can’t wait until the reveal date so everyone can see it. EM & EM is a little bit dark, but it’s also a sweet romance, and I think the cover manages to capture both aspects. You can read more about the premise and add EM & EM to your “to be read” list on its Goodreads page.

UPDATE: My release date has been moved up to September 22, 2015 September 15, 2015! That’s REALLY coming up quickly! Also, the cover reveal will be August 12 … can’t wait for all of you to see it!

But that’s not all! I have some fun news regarding the novel I’m currently writing as well.

rwa_awardTHE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER took first place in the Published Author Category of the Virginia Chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s annual Fool for Love Contest. Isn’t that certificate so shiny and pretty?!? This was a real honor, and of course, it’s always wonderful when you’re working on a project to know others feel it has merit. Very motivating!

And that’s STILL not all! THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER also is a finalist in the Contemporary Category of the Young Adult Chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s annual Rosemary Contest. I will be heading up to New York in a few weeks for the awards ceremony, so wish me luck on that one!

So THAT is all my news! Stay tuned for the EM & EM cover reveal, a report from the NYC Awards Ceremony and more!

My Swoon YA Summer Reading List

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in, oh … almost a year. Well, that’s because of two things. One, my husband took down my website and moved it to a new (easier and better) platform and parts of it had to be rebuilt and that was all just a tad overwhelming for me. And two, I’ve been writing. As in, books! And I have some exciting news on that front … but I will save that for next week’s post!

Anyway … thank you for stopping by after all this time. This week, I have a treat for you. I am really excited to share three Swoon YA reads that are on my summer TBR (To Be Read) list. All three of these look fantastic –  fantastic enough that the idea of posting about them motivated me to rebuild the site and hop back on my blogging horse. I can’t wait to check them out, and I hope you will, too!

Life in the No-Dating Zone, by Tricia Tighe

no_dating_zoneFirst of all … love the title. I want to know what the no-dating zone is and I really want to know what life is like there. Though I’m guessing from the cover image it doesn’t quite work out as planned, ahaha! Also, the reviews on this book’s Goodreads page call it “adorable,” “fun,” “sweet,”  and “goofy.” In other words, perfect for summer.

Here is the official blurb: After surviving her parents’ relationship drama when her older sister elopes, Claire Gardner vows not to date during high school. Now, three years later, Claire is thrust into new relationship drama–her two best friends have boyfriends. Which means Claire is spending more and more time alone. And she’s more than a little peeved.

Enter Gray Langley. His year-long crush on Claire’s friend Lindsey has made him desperate enough to ask Claire for help. Hesitant at first, Claire agrees–anything to get rid of Lindsey’s current evil boyfriend. But as Claire and Gray plot together, an attraction develops, and now she must decide if being with Gray is worth the pain that will come from confronting her parents with the reasons for her vow.

Kissing Frogs, by Alisha Sevigny

kissing_frogsA modern retelling of “The Frog Prince”? Yes, please. Also, I love me a good nerdy-girl goes popular goes nerdy again book. And also, one of its Goodreads reviews says this book is “like a piña colada on a hot summer day.” So, yeah. Sign me up.

The blurb: Popular party girl and high school senior Jessica Scott has a secret: she used to be a nerd – a big one; a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ. But she lost the braces, put on some contacts, and applied all her academic genius to studying and imitating the social elite. Now she rules the school from the upper echelon of the high school realm. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach – and that’s where she’s headed for Spring Break. That is, until her teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing Biology – and her only chance to make up the grade is to throw away the culminating trip of her hard-earned popularity and join the Conservation Club in Panama to save the Golden Frog.

Unable to let go of her faded college dreams, Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, and one handsome face that stands out as a blast from the past, threatening to ruin her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving Jess’ lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three dates. While Jess does battle with spiders, snakes, wildfires and smart mean girls, she desperately tries to hang on to the last vestiges of her popular existence like the Golden Frog from its webbed toe. But as she starts to care about something more than tanning and texting – a species on the verge of disappearing forever – she may realize the worth of her inner nerd, and the one frog in particular that could be her prince in disguise.

Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, this modern fairy tale re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” is toe-curling contemporary romance with an environmentalist heartbeat, in the tradition of Stephanie Perkins.

Snark and Circumstance, by Stephanie Wardrop

snarkThis one is actually a novella, just 45 pages, and is the first in a series with equally fun Jane Austenesque titles. After all the sweetness of the two earlier books, I think I’ll be in the mood for some good old-fashioned teen snark! Fun premise … really looking forward to this one!

Here’s the blurb: One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.