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See how upset he gets when I leave?

Hey! Did I mention that I have a new book coming out? Because I do. And you know what that means? I am going to have to put in my contact lenses, comb my hair, and leave my house. I’m fine with that, though my cat is getting anxious.

Here’s what’s on the calendar so far.

UPCOMING EVENTS (2013)

Sunday, May 19, 2-5 p.m., Local Authors Day, Fullerton Public Library

Tuesday, July 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Teen Workshop, Yorba Linda Public Library

Sunday, August 18, 2:00 p.m., Bubble World Book Launch party, Fullerton Public Library

Hope to see some of you there! Because I’m all about my readers! And also because there is nothing — okay, maybe a few things — sadder than an author event where no one shows up.

Bubble World!

Breaking news! I sold my next young adult book! To Holt/MacMillan! In July 2011!

So maybe I’m a little slow on my book news. But I really am excited about Bubble World, which will be in stores in July 2013. Don’t tell my other titles, but I think it’s my favorite book, and not just because it has the cutest cover in the world.

(Those models are not just any old dolls, by the way. Laurie Everton of The Barbie Canvas hand-painted them to look like my characters.)

Here’s what the book is about:

Freesia Summers lives on the island of Agalinas, a hidden Pacific paradise somewhere off the coast of California. Northern California or Southern? Freesia doesn’t know. Or care. She’d much rather spend her time thinking about things that matter, like glittery eye makeup and lovely boys. Freesia has everything a girl could want: an enormous closet, her own ocean-view balcony, a pink itty car, singing peacocks, and a magical bubble that lets her talk to her besties and keep track of her de-vicious clothes.

If Freesia’s life seems too good to be true, well, there’s a reason for that. She does her best to ignore the signs that something in her world has gone terribly wrong: the electrical outages, the time slips, the sudden departures that border on disappearances. But when a blackout lands her in an unbeautiful place — and in an equally unbeautiful but oddly familiar body — reality hits her head-on.

As far as Freesia is concerned, reality is overrated.

To read the first chapter, go here. And if you’d like to pre-order (hey, I’m only thinking about you and your busy schedule), check out Amazon, Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble (which doesn’t have the pre-order link up at the time of this posting, but should soon).

 

 

My Meta Blog

Wait — whoah. It’s June? And I haven’t blogged since February? How! Did! That! Happen! Oh, right: I’m kind of a slacker. This time around, I’m not going to promise to keep to a schedule because if you have any sense at all you won’t believe me. (And if you do, you are excessively trusting toward people who have repeatedly let you down and should maybe consider talking to a professional.)

So why am I blogging now? Two reasons:

1. I’ve started watching cat videos.

A week ago, I handed in the revised version of my upcoming young adult book, Bubbleworld, which should be out next spring. Someday soon I’ll write a long blog post and tell you all about it.* Now I have time to work on my vegetable garden, clean my desk, go through my closet, and take up pilates.

Pilates? Seriously? That is so not going to happen. Ditto for anything involving the phrase “clean” or “go through.” I can only check my Amazon rankings so many times in a day (“Bad . . . still bad . . . wow — I didn’t know they could go that low”), so it’s come down to watching cat videos versus writing a blog post. So here we are.

2. I’m just in this business for my fans. (And maybe a little bit so I don’t have to get a real job.)

After I handed in my manuscript, I spent a day** answering my fan mail from the last few months. My favorite letter came from a young Russian woman with an extreme fondness for exclamation points (unlike some of my writing peers, I love exclamation points!!!!) who told me that she hopes to come to America some day. In the meantime, she reads my books and blog to work on her English. So, yeah, I pretty much owe it to the international community to keep blogging. Plus, I love the idea of a future America populated by Eastern bloc immigrants who sound like deeply sarcastic, slightly neurotic women from New Jersey.

*You fell for that, didn’t you? Again: you are WAY too trusting.

** Okay, a couple of hours. If that.

The Best Worst Holiday Gifts: Forever Lazy

 12 Days Till Christmas

With thanks to my friend Jill Smolinski, today I present Forever Lazy, an adult fleece onesie for those who are ready to move on from the Snuggie to something just a little less dignified. It’s a bit of a challenge to find unintended humor from something that touts “zippered hatches in front and back, for great escapes when duty calls,” because surely the manufacturers know they are being funny, right? Right?

Fellow Americans, consider this: as a nation of immigrants, our ancestors left everything behind to come to a strange and sometimes hostile world. Why? Because they hoped to give their children and grandchildren a better life. So, yeah — they’d be psyched to know that we’ve turned into a nation of 24-hour jammie wearers. Thanks for the better life, guys!!!

More Best Worst Holiday Gifts:

Nosy

Zapi Toothbrush Sanitizer

A Pig

Wine Hourglasses

A signed book makes a great holiday gift. Click here for free, personalized bookplates.

 

 

 

The Best Gifts for People You Don’t Like: A Pig

18 Days Till Christmas

Every couple of years, my husband and I get so disgusted with the commercialism of Christmas that we threaten to give everyone a goat. No, not an a real goat — at least to the gift recipient — but a donation of a goat in their name through Heifer International, which does amazing work building communities in developing nations. From their website:

With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as “living loans” because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal’s offspring to another family in need. It’s called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace.

Cool, huh? Well, maybe not to a kid who was hoping for a Wii, but for a business associate drowning in Harry & David pears — you can do good and look good at the same time. (So what if your business associate thinks you’re a liberal fruitcake. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.)

Heifer doesn’t stop at goats. They have sheep, llamas, rabbits, heifers (of course) — even honeybees. They also have pigs.

A friend who relies on Heifer for all of her holiday gift giving confessed that she saves the pigs for, well, the pigs. In a perfect world, no one would give gifts to people they don’t like, but business is business (or so people tell me), and necessary gestures are necessary gestures. So how do you do good and look good while leaving someone with the creepy suspicion that they’ve been dissed? You got it, Babe.

More Best Worst Holiday Gifts:

Nosy

Zapi Toothbrush Sanitizer

Forever Lazy

Wine Hourglasses

 

A signed book makes a great holiday gift. Click here for free, personalized bookplates.