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.

Going ‘Behind the Scenes’ with Dahlia Adler!

I am very excited this week to congratulate Dahlia Adler–talented writer, brilliant blogger, social media maven, and all around sweetheart–on the release of her debut YA novel, BEHIND THE SCENES!

To celebrate, Dahlia is having a fun release tour where she has asked all of us who are participating to share a little bit about her book and then share a “behind the scenes” peek into some aspect of our own writing.

First things first! Here’s the deets on Dahlia’s book:
behind-the-scenes-adler-coverHigh school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park — star of TV’s hottest new teen drama — but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Want to read it, like, yesterday? I thought so!

Check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list!

Now, for a quick peek behind the scenes at my writing routine. I work full time and am an active volunteer with my church and two local writing groups, so people often ask me, “When do you find time to write?”

The answer: First thing in the morning. In fact, that’s the only time I can write. By the time I get home from work (where I do a lot of writing, BTW), I am wiped and want to do nothing that requires more brainpower than watch “Wheel of Fortune” (which I totally rock at, BTW).

So, as soon as I get up, I take a half-hour walk. This wakes me up and gets the blood flowing to my brain. Here’s a shot from this morning’s walk:

walk

Looks peaceful, huh? Great way to start the morning.

Next, I spend about 40 minutes writing. Here’s where all the magic happens … on my bed, on my Mac, with Little D beside me:

Demitria on Bed

Granted, 40 minutes a day is slow going (that’s why it takes me so long to write novel, folks!). But every book ever written was written one word at a time. For anyone out there who is struggling to find time to write, start with 40 minutes. Heck, start with 20 minutes. Carve it out of your day, and stick to it. And if you do that every day, eventually you’ll have a book. Having an adorable puppy by your side helps, too.