Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Holiday Mix


The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have always held a special place in my heart.  I’m not really sure why – it’s certainly stressful, with end of semester tests, holiday shopping, overindulging and family obligations. I’ve always tried to look at the brighter side of things, and while the stressors I mentioned get to me too, I remember to pause a moment and really experience all of the things I love.  The smell of a wood fire, the glow of Christmas lights, chocolate chip cookies, even the fact that Starbucks has special holiday to-go cups  - it all makes me smile. 

The Promise of Amazing, which takes place during these weeks,  is very much a love letter to a certain time in my life – when the only things I had to stress about were how cold it was going to be at the Thanksgiving football game and if I would have a special someone to kiss under the mistletoe.   It may seem shallow, trivial even, but the underlying thrum of all of that, was the desire to be fully present in the moment.   The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to heighten that feeling for me, everything takes on more significance with the holidays as a backdrop:  food tastes better, songs have deeper meaning, you miss people more, you love people more.

In honor of my favorite time of the year, I put together The Promise of Amazing Holiday Mix playlist.  The songs included represent both Wren and Grayson and what might have been playing during that final Christmas party at The Camelot. (and okay, some are just my favorites)  So dear reader, may you and your family have an AMAZING holiday season, with all the things that make it special for you! Hope you enjoy!! 

 xoxoxo  Robin




Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Secrets of Attraction Cover Reveal!

The cover for The Secrets of Attraction was revealed exclusively on Hypable.com a week ago.   ICYMI:  HERE IT IS!!!




Madison Pryce thinks she’s got everything figured out—she’s working on a portfolio for a summer art program, trying to keep up her grades, and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. They’re casual by choice—getting serious with a guy only complicates things. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie’s life upside down and throws all her beliefs into question.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. He can’t seem to move on from his ex, and he hasn’t picked up his guitar in weeks. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse’s band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.



Would it be okay to say this cover makes me smile?  I love this story and I think the cover captures all the swoon!

There will be more giveaways in the not too distant future, but my very first one can be found right here!  I did a video interview with the lovely Rachel Silberman and talked a bit about The Promise of Amazing and how it relates to this companion book.  You can also find out which supernatural creature I'd rather go out on a date with. :)   She asked such awesome questions!

The Secrets of Attraction releases on April 28, 2015!

<3
Robin

Friday, October 10, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s fall, and I suppose about time for a new blog post, lest you think I’ve been stuck in post-revision la-la land for months. 

I haven’t.

Shortly after my last post, another round of revisions landed in my inbox.  This was a tough batch (I had to completely rethink a part of the story) but revision has become my favorite part of the writing process because I get to play.  I’m so happy with it!  And now I can share the title of book two with you:

The Secrets of Attraction

Add it on Goodreads!

This is a companion novel for The Promise of Amazing – which means (for me at least) it’s an entirely different story, set in the same place, with some old characters and some new ones too! This is Madison’s story – so much fun writing from her perspective!!  

Wait until you see the cover - it’s very swoony.  (Soon!!)

All work and no play…well, you know how it goes, so after I finished with my last round of revisions AND copy edits, I had time for some travels.

I love Downton Abbey and had the chance to see the “Costumes of Downton Abbey” exhibit at Winterthur Gardens in Delaware, which is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit! (even without the costumes)





 Lady Sybil's fashion forward harem pants! 


I also had time for the beach (Cape May, NJ)!







Met up with some One Four KidLit pals in Orlando, FL!!


(l - r, the FABULOUS Vivi Barnes, Erica Cameron, Julie Murphy, Me and Christina Farley)



 More time for the beach. (Wrightsville Beach, NC)





And a visit to Wilmington, NC where I kept my eyes peeled for Tom Mison but instead of Ichabod Crane.... 



...I found this:





 (Wren was here!)



I also had the chance to participate in Novel Fashion Week, run by Kindred Dreamheart, which was a blast.  Here’s the daytime and evening looks I came up with to match the cover of The Promise of Amazing! (Hope they would get Tim Gunn's approval!!)






All in all, I had a pretty productive and fun summer.  Now, bring on all things pumpkin!!  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life After Revision...at least for a few days...

The most blissful ten minutes in my life as a writer, usually happens after I hit “send” on my most recent revision. 

There’s relief – yay!  That much closer to making the book the best it can be!




And dancing…because, why not?




And general whooping it up because it feels so wonderful to be finished with something!





It’s that pesky eleven minute mark when I realize that there’s more work to be done and start wondering if my editor will enjoy the changes I’ve made or if the sections I thought were funny will even garner a giggle. 




In short, it’s when I return to being slightly neurotic. But before I go back to dig in once again, I usually have a little celebratory downtime.   And here's what I like to do:



Binge on DVR’d TV and movies

After working so hard my brain needs candy. I’m finally caught up with The Originals and Reign.  Still working on Revenge!!  And in the span of three days watched Authors Anonymous, The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Maleficent.  


Tackle my TBR pile

Ah, give me a free weekend and a pile of books and that equals bliss.


Answering Email

Receiving email from readers is one of the highlights of my job but I can’t always get to them in a timely manner – especially during revision, where I pretty much put blinders on and tune out everything.  I put as much thought into my responses as I do into my novels.  So if you’ve written to me and haven’t heard anything yet – please be patient - you will soon. Promise!!


 Pampering

One day as I was writing I took a moment to really feel my posture…I was sort of hunched over, shoulders forward, arm at an odd angle, clicking the mouse and slouched in my office chair.  Writing may not be particularly physical but it can certainly wreak havoc with your physical being if you’re not careful.  So…a massage may seem like pampering – and okay, it is to a certain extent – but I’ve found them to be a necessity.  It’s also usually my reward for revision.  That and shoes. Oh, and mani-pedis, but I don’t think that would count as a tax write off.  


Fun writing

First drafts are not my favorite.  Nope.  And I have a hard time switching gears between revising and drafting.  So mostly when I’m in this kind of limbo of waiting for edit notes, I write scenes from other stories that have been haunting me, or try and sketch an outline for a new project.   Or write blog posts. 

All of this serves to fill up the well, so that when I do go back to my recently revised manuscript, I can do it with fresh eyes and a relaxed mind.     What do you like to do?





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock the Drop!!





Today is Celebrate Teen Literature day!!   Did you rock the drop?  No, it's not a dance move - just drop off a favorite YA title out in the wild where some unsuspecting (and very lucky!) teen will find it!!   Here's The Promise of Amazing out in the wild!  Hope it finds a good home!




xoxo,
Robin <3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What's on Your Bucket List? Celebrating the debut of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY!!!



In one short week Julie Murphy’s debut novel, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY will be out there in the wild!!  I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this fabulous story and let me tell you…the book hangover.  Epic.  I loved Alice and Harvey.  This is one of those books I couldn’t stop thinking about long after I put it down.  

SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is about a girl named Alice, who, after being diagnosed with cancer, creates a crazy bucket list to settle all her scores before she dies, only to go into remission.

So, in honor of the official release, I’m sharing some things from my bucket list.  There’s a mix here of totally do-able and dare to dream (and some DONE!).  Here goes:

*Travel the world                                                                                                                               
High priorities are UK, Italy and Egypt.  I have been to Paris,  where my most memorable moments took place on the Metro and in Pere Lachaise Cemetery. 

*Spend a week at Canyon Ranch Spa                                                                                           
  I’m fascinated by this place.  The price tag, not so much, but one can dream!

*Smoke a Cigar 
  DONE! Btw…don’t inhale. 

*Go horseback riding on the beach.                                                                                                 
  Naturally, I will think of Harvey when I do this.



*Drink Champagne out of a high-heeled shoe
  DONE!  My brother’s wedding.  Don’t judge.

*Buy (and wear) a couture outfit
  Because, why not?

*See the Northern Lights 
 Because...pretty!!

  
 
 *Write a book
   DONE! Yay!

*Attend a red carpet event.
   Maybe in said couture outfit.

*Learn to play one song thoroughly (and well) on the guitar.
  I can strum the chorus of American Pie.

*Knit.
  So I can make this awesome Katniss Cowl!!



*Spend the summer at the beach.
  Would love to rent a house and do nothing for a summer.

*Do Crow Pose in yoga
I’ve already face planted several times trying to accomplish this.  But I WILL do this.  It might not   look like this, but I will do it!!




So what’s on your bucket list?






What if you'd been living your life as if you were dying - only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim.  To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs - however she sees fit.  She convinces her friend, Harvey, who she knows has always had feel ins for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger).  But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey.  But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her - and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.


BUY AT:
AMAZON
 



Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Debut Talk and January Roundup!

My January began with a snow storm and ended with one as well.   In between, I found myself wearing flip-flops and a light throw one day and Uggs and a parka on the next. Even the weather in my debut month was a roller coaster. Well played, Mother Nature! I was up in New Jersey for my debut - which worked out great because I was able to celebrate with my family and friends.

I began my debut celebration the night before with my some friends I've known since high school! We all shared dinner and a good cry when I showed them my acknowledgements.  I've been blessed with so many amazing people along the journey, but these are the gals who knew me when and being able to just relax and mark this occasion with them meant the world to me!  

On my debut day, aka New Year's Eve - I went out early with some family to a local Barnes and Noble, with plans of taking photos of me with TPofA on the shelves and then going out to lunch.  I walked into the bookstore a little teary eyed, because guys...this is a dream come true and something I've been working toward for a very long time.  So at the prospect of seeing my book on the shelves, I was all like this:



We rode the escalator up to the Young Adult section...looked...and looked...and looked...and looked some more, that's when it went from best day ever to this:


Not exactly the stuff of dreams...


...but then my eagle eyed offspring found my book!!
On a cart!!
Ready to be shelved!!


Look - I'm under The Book of Love by Lynn Weingarten! (And Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins!!)  So I'm in good company.  :)    All in all, a nice, low-key way to celebrate my debut!!  Since then friends have texted me pictures when they see it on the shelves.  Every time I have to pinch myself.  For reals.


Aside from trying to keep warm  and searching for my book on the shelves - here's a roundup of where I've been on the blogosphere for the month of January:


Hypable.com - The Promise of Amazing was reviewed on HYPABLE!!   This review made my heart sing <3   Thank you!!

Pat Esden - Mythmaker -  Patty asked some great questions!  We talked about writing from dual perspectives and also which spot my characters would pick as the most romantic place in the world! (you might be surprised!)

Hanging On To Wonder - I chatted with fellow One Four member Jaye Robin Brown about backstory and cupcake hangovers!  Jaye is the author of the forthcoming NO PLACE TO FALL - a sweet, poignant contemporary set in the South.  It'll be out in December 2014 - put it on your TBR pile!!

Adventures in YA Publishing - A guest post about perseverance in publishing!!  Thanks to Martina Boone for letting me share some wisdom from my journey.

Bows & Bullets Book Reviews and More - Tabitha was at my Charlotte signing - I can't tell you how great it was to meet her!!  Book bloggers are awesome!!   Here's a recap of my signing from her POV AND a video clip of me reading from The Promise of Amazing.

The Author's Voice - I had the chance to speak to fellow One Four Kate Boorman for her "author's voice" series.  This was a fun way to do an interview and we had to contend with some howling Canadian wind!  AND I also read an excerpt from TPofA.  Kate's book WINTERKILL will be out Fall of 2014.  Another one to put on your TBR list!  Sounds delightfully eerie!!

There are also some fun TPofA extras over on Storycrush.com:

The Official Jersey Playlist for The Promise of Amazing

Which 80's rom-com is your love life?     (I'm Say Anything!)



Happy Friday!!  Stay warm and curl up with a good book!!

Robin <3



Tangled Gif Source: http://imgur.com/gallery/8xuI6
Little Mermaid Gif Source: http://gif-emporium.tumblr.com/post/12063363403



Monday, January 6, 2014

The Lovestruck Tour!!

Sooooo....

This is the news I've been waiting to share!  I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be on a five stop Southeastern tour this February with three AMAZING authors:  Megan Shepherd, Kasie West and Megan Miranda!!  And we want to share our passion for books with YOU!

Not on one of the stops?  You still have the chance to win an awesome prize pack of signed books and swag!!   For details on the giveaway and the tour stops here's the official LOVESTRUCK TOUR website.




Robin <3