Thursday, February 26, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Lisa McMann!

Welcome to a special edition* of Freebie Friday.

Today I'm pleased to bring you an interview with the fabulous Lisa McMann, way cool NYT bestselling author of the made-of-awesome YA novels WAKE and FADE. (The third and final book in the series, GONE will be out in February 2010.)

If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with Janie and Cabel, I'm telling you - you're missing out. WAKE starts the trilogy off by introducing such a cool premise that it just makes you go, Aaaahhh!

Here's the official blurb so you can see what I mean:

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

*shivers* right??? I really loved this book, and Lisa's spare, to-the-point writing. (I have not yet read FADE, although it's waiting for me like a carrot on a stick as soon as I get this current project turned in...)

Now for the interview:

What was your inspiration for writing FADE?
When I finished writing WAKE, I couldn't stop writing about Janie and Cabe. So I kept going.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Nope! They have characteristics of real people, but mostly just small stuff.

What excites you?
Today? It's my new toothbrush. It's the kind with the ridges and when I brush, it feels like a mini massage in my mouth.

What turns you off?
Mean people.

What's the best dream you've ever had?
When I was a kid, I dreamed we had a candy store in our garage. It was so real that I even went out to the garage when I woke up. But no candy. I loved that dream.

What's the scariest dream you've ever had?
The dream that Carrie has in WAKE, about the boy in the river -- that was a recurring nightmare of mine when I was a kid. I would wake up crying. (Note from Linda: Ooh. I hope not for the same reason's Carrie had her dream!)

Have either of those dreams come close to coming true? For the first, sadly no, though I did buy a bunch of candy at K-Mart when it was on a 10 for $1 bluelight special (yeah, I'm old) and I tried to sell it to my brothers. They just stole it instead. For the second, thankfully no. (whew!)

What's your favorite quote?
“Teen books are like adult books, without all the bullshit.”
H. Jack Martin, assistant coordinator of young adult services at New York Public Library

What's your next project?
I'm in the editing stages with GONE, the third book in the WAKE trilogy (due out Feb 2010). After that, well, I've got a few ideas, but nothing I can announce yet.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

You can read more about the series here, check out the cool trailer here, read Lisa's blog here, and follow her on twitter here!

Lisa has generously offered a signed copy of FADE for this week's freebie. (Or WAKE, if the winner hasn't read it yet.) And this is where the *special edition comes in.

Friday, February 27 just happens to be Lisa McMann's birthday!

To be entered to win your very own signed copy of FADE or WAKE, leave a message below with your Ode to Lisa, wishing her a happy birthday. This week, the winner will be selected by a mini-panel of judges, based on originality and creativity, so be sure to leave a truly fabulous birthday wish!

Let the ode-writing begin!!!

*P.S. I'll be out of town on a school visit trip tomorrow (which is why I'm posting early), so I won't be able to peek in, but I'm going to trust you to party nice and keep it PG. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Happy Tuesday!

I apologize for being scarce. I've been busy polishing up the next manuscript... due on Monday! Thanks for sharing your horse loves with me. The winner of a signed copy of Jessica Burkhart's TAKE THE REINS is:


Please shoot me a note at gerb @ lindagerber . com with your mailing instructions so we can get that sent out to you!

Everyone else, don't miss a special FREEBIE FRIDAY this week with Lisa McMann! It's Lisa's birthday on Friday so polish up your birthday greeting writing skills. To win a signed copy of her new book FADE, you'll be writing Odes to Lisa. Should be fun!

Have a great week and we'll see you then!

Friday, February 20, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Jessica Burkhart

Happy Friday! Today we have a treat for all you horse lovers out there - tween author Jessica Burkhart is in the house!

But first, the winner of Jennifer Banash's IN TOO DEEP is:

Congratulations! Please send me a note with your mailing instructions to gerb @ lindagerber. com and we'll get that sent out to you.

Meanwhile, please join me in welcoming teenfictioncafe sister Jessica Burkhart to the blog! Jessica is the author of the Canterwood Crest series and an all-around nice person. Now, I don't know about you, but when I was a tween, I was obsessed with horses! When TAKE THE REINS came out, I instantly fell in love all over again. Better yet, I have a 12-year old daughter who devoured the book and is chomping at the bit (hehe) for the next book in the series, CHASING BLUE, which comes out next month. And look at these gorgeous covers! Love, love, love! (Yes, you know how much I adore Melissa Walker's Cover Stories feature... here's the Canterwood Crest cover story.)

If you have a tween in your life (or if you're like me and love great stories - especially when they feature drama and horses), you're going to want to pick up these books!

Now on to the interview:

What inspired you to write TAKE THE REINS?
I was a serious (read: obsessed) equestrian most of my life. When I was thirteen, I had a spinal fusion for severe scoliosis and I couldn’t ride after that. It felt as if I’d lost a giant part of me—it was devastating. So, I started freelancing and I ignored horses for six years. I couldn’t stand to think about them.

In November 2006, I decided to try NaNoWriMo. Great, except for the small problem that I had nooo ideas. And you kind of need one to write a book…

Then, an idea for a horse novel hit and I couldn’t shake it. I ignored the “don’t write about horses, it’ll be too painful” voices in my head and started the draft of TAKE THE REINS. It was a blast to write and I was so, so happy when I went back into Horse World. I’m never leaving again!

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?

Only every single one! Sasha is—oops. Better not say! ;)

What excites you?
The future! I’m making big changes in my life this year and I’m sooo excited. Change is good!

What turns you off?

Laziness, literary snobs, intolerance and people who are mean to animals.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
I lied to a friend and myself and said, “I’m okay!” when I wasn’t. By saying I was fine, I put myself in a bad situation for a few weeks. If I’d told the truth, I would have really been fine.

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
Oooh, I’d say the time I passed out while driving! I was driving through the mountains in Virginia (I think?) and I looked over the guardrail and fainted for a couple of seconds. I should have known better than to look because I’m scared of heights. Smart move! I got lucky that someone was in the passenger seat and that few cars were around us. I was able to pull over and switch seats. But it was scary!

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Instead of taking someone I’d never met before (what if we totally don’t get along?!), I’d take my closest friend. We’d sip pretty pink drinks by a pool, have hot guys fan us with palm fronds, gossip and watch lots of bad TV. Oh, and we’d invite Johnny Depp too. We’d convince him to give us a Captain Jack impression. My friend, poor girl, just doesn’t understand the magic that is Captain Jack Sparrow. But I think she’d change her mind after an in-person Captain Jack impression. Don’t you think?

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Hmmm…they probably don’t know that I’d never been in a Starbucks until January 2009. Yes, 2009! I remember blogging about this a long time ago and author-friend Alyson Novel was like, “What?! Are you kidding me?”

What's your favorite quote?

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

Dark! For sure. Mmm.

If you would like to be entered to win a signed copy of TAKE THE REINS and a way cool CANTERWOOD CREST postcard, leave a comment below and tell me about your love affair with horses or why you should win this book. This drawing will remain open until Tuesday, February 24.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Happy release day to fellow SASS author Cynthea Liu!!!! Today her debut book, SASS: GREAT CALL OF CHINA hits the shelves.

Check out her release party, now in progress! You could win a signed copy of GREAT CALL OF CHINA, a $25 bookstore gift certificate, your very own Chinese Terra Cotta warrior and other fine swag! I'm even throwing in signed copies of my SASS books, NOW AND ZEN and THE FINNISH LINE.

Congratulations, Cynthea! Party on, everyone!!!

P.S. Only one day left to comment-to-win a copy of Jennifer Banash's IN TOO DEEP.
AND don't forget to join us tomorrow for a FREEBIE with tween author Jessica Burkhart.
So many chances to win stuff!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Miss Match Winner and GCC Interview with Jennifer Banash

Happy Tuesday! Did you have a good President's Day weekend?

Thanks once again for dropping in during out LOVE FEST week. The winners of the finale with Wendy Toliver are:
Heart cell phone charm: Brooklyn

Please send me a note at gerb @ lindagerber . com with your mailing info and we'll get those sent out to you!

Meanwhile, I'm very happy to welcome GCC sister Jennifer Banash to the blog. You may know Jennifer as the author of THE ELITE series, but did you know that she is obsessed with reality TV and has a beagle named Sigmund? Read on.

In case you've been living under a rock and haven't
heard of THE ELITE series before, here's the official blurb:

If you don’t belong here— you just don’t belong…

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one.

Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew - and a little revenge.

I love the covers for these books. They're very striking, don't you think? (If you want to know more about the design, Melissa Walker did the Cover Story in October on her blog.) The books themselves have also gotten a lot of attention, earning comments from critics such as 'posh,' 'glamorous,' 'drama-filled' and 'The Pretty in Pink for the Millennium Generation.'

If you'd like to read more about Jennifer and the books, check out THE ELITE website and her blog. You can also find her on myspace and facebook. Meanwhile, enjoy the interview!

Edited to add: Jennifer has just offered to choose one lucky reader to receive a copy of IN TOO DEEP! To enter, just leave a comment below about anything Jennifer discussed in her interview. We'll leave this open until Friday.

What inspired you to write THE ELITE series?
I went to high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, so that’s really where the inspiration for THE ELITE came from. My writing teachers always told me to write what I knew, so when I got the opportunity to create my own series, it just seemed natural for me to set it in that world. IN TOO DEEP, the sequel which is in stores now, is also heavily influenced by my obsession with reality TV.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Yes. Drew Van Allen is based on someone very close to me. It's not a direct translation, but Drew definitly shares many character traits with this real-live person!

What excites you?
Passion. Intensity. Edginess. Darkness. Escapism. People who really love what they do and put everything they've got into it as a result.

What turns you off?
Boredom. Apathy. Whining.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
I don't usually tell "big" lies. My lies are for the most part, the kind of little white lies we all tell on a daily (hourly?;) basis. But the biggest lie I've ever told was probably when I was married--I had an affair and lied about it. It was heartbreaking, painful, awful, and easily the very worst period of my life. It's probably WHY I don't tell big lies anymore--I've seen first hand how they blow up in your face, the destruction they cause.

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
Probably waiting for my books to be made in to a TV series or film. Ummm . . . I'm still waiting. Paging the CW . . . :)

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Marilyn Monroe. I'm just obsessed with her vulnerablity and absolute luminosity. She wore her emotions so close to the skin.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
That I can be really, really shy if I don't know someone well.

What's your favorite quote?
Don't have one :)

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Dark. Is this even a question?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


How's your Valentine's Day going so far? Here's a little extra sweetness... the winners of this week's LOVE FEST drawings thus far.... (Remember, you still have time to enter to win a signed copy of Wendy Toliver's MISS MATCH and the heart cell phone charm!)

*Signed copy of DEATH BY LATTE - Epic Rat
*Signed ARC of DEATH BY DENIM - GreenBeanTeenQueen
*SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr - Paradox
*Choice of signed TINA FERRARO book - Kelsey
*Signed copy of PERFECT CHEMISTRY - Bookworm
*Anthony Thomas chocolates - Emma
*Lip Gloss - Liviania
*KEEPING THE MOON by Sarah Dessen - Korianne
*Signed copy of VIDALIA IN PARIS - Carol(ina)

If you have won, please drop an email to gerb @ lindagerber .com with your mailing info so we can get them sent off to you.

Everyone else, don't forget to leave a comment on Wendy Toliver's post to be entered to win, and be sure to join us this Friday with another Freebie with tween author Jessica Burkhart and on the 27th with the fabulous Lisa McMann!

Thanks again to our YA LOVE FEST contributors, Simone Elkeles, Tina Ferraro, Melissa Walker, Sasha Watson and Wendy Toliver! And thanks to you for joining us!


Happy Valentine's Day! Welcome to our final day of YA LOVE FEST week here on the blog.

Today's romance expert is my friend, teenfictioncafe sister and GCC sister, the lovely and talented Wendy Toliver, whose new book, MISS MATCH, made it's debut this week, just in time for Valentine's Day! MISS MATCH is about a high school matchmaker, and also touches on sisterly love and healthy body issues.

Things you might not know about Wendy:
* She lives in the mountains of Utah and loves to ski and snowboard.
* She has a real-life whodunnit in her family lore - her great grandfather's murder remains unsolved.
* She once taught a transvestite to dance like a woman!
* She knows great places for sushi and undercooked pizza in Roy.
* She is featured on this week's Women Who Rock on Stephanie Kruenert's blog. Check it out!

Meanwhile, on to the Q&A!

I'm a freshman in high school and there is this guy who's a junior who sometimes purposefully bumps into me in the hall. He always makes jokes when I'm around, and sometimes that makes me uncomfortable. My friends say it's because he likes me. I don't know what to think. Help!
Sometimes it's hard to tell if a guy likes you, but it's my opinion that your friends are right on this one. As long as he's not physically hurting you when he bumps into you, or making crude or ugly jokes, I think this junior is crushing on you. Now you have to ask yourself if you like him. If so, you might want to engage in a little flirting yourself. Smile, laugh at his jokes, give him some eye contact, and be your irresistible self. Good luck!

How long did you wait to say "I love you" to your significant other? What is the longest that you waited to say it?
I met my significant other in college, and I think it took me about 4 months to say "I love you." I'm pretty sure I was in love with him well before that, but where we lived in different states, some of that time was the long distance relationship thing. But anyway, I wanted to wait until I knew I meant it, and not just say it because it seemed like the thing to say.

There is this guy I met from another school and he texts and calls me all the time, but we've never gone out. I just found out that he has a girlfriend at his school. (He didn't tell me.) Is it wrong for us to keep texting?
This is a complicated situation, and I hope you don't mind that I have a few questions. First of all, are you texting as friends or is it getting romantic or flirty?
Second, have you mentioned to him that you know he has a girlfriend? If so, how did he react? If not, do so ASAP.
If it's a friendly relationship (not romantic), and you've come clean about knowing about his girlfriend, I'd ask him if she'd care that you two text and call so much.
You haven't done anything wrong (to answer your question), but if it makes you feel uncomfortable that he's made an effort NOT to mention his girlfriend (which, if you text and call often, is the case), then you might consider putting all your time and effort into another guy--someone who doesn't have a girlfriend.

There's this really cute guy at school that I want to meet, but every time I'm around him, all we do is look at each other. I don't even think he knows my name. How do I just walk up to him and strike up a conversation? Please help!
Once there was a really cute new guy in my class and I didn't know the first thing about him except he rode a skateboard and was really cute. He was in my earth science class, and like you, all we did was look at each other. If the cute guy at your school is in a class with you, you can ask him a question about the class. If not, and you can't think of anything to say, just start small and general, like saying "hi" when you pass him in the hall. Or maybe compliment something he's wearing or doing. The good news is, if you catch him looking at you, he's probably eager to talk to you, too, and if you open the conversation line, he'll be excited to keep it going. Good luck!

For today's Freebie, Wendy has generously donated a signed copy of Miss Match!

I'm throwing in this adorable heart cell phone charm.

To be entered to win, you know the drill - give your own advice to one of the questions above. This drawing is open until Tuesday.

All other LOVE FEST winners will be announced today after noon, eastern time.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Welcome back to our love fest! Before we begin day #5, a couple of things-
Remember Alyson Noel, who was just here visiting last week? Check out her fantastic news about EVERMORE! Yay, Alyson!
And, um, does anyone have any really great flu remedies? I do not have time to keep being sick!

But no whining from me, because today I'm pleased to YA romance expert Sasha Watson to the blog. Sasha is the author of VIDALIA IN PARIS, which Kirkus Reviews says "portrays Paris with a doting accuracy and delineates all the torments of first love." In fact, Sasha used to live in the City of Love. Sounds like she knows what she's talking about.

You can read more about Sasha and VIDALIA on her blog.

Now on to the questions:
Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions?

Yes, and it's my favorite thing about Valentine's Day. I send valentine's to all my best female friends. Some are single and some aren't, but either way, they need to know they're loved!

What do I do if my best friends hate my boyfriend? I want to keep both my friends and my boyfriend. Is there a way to do that? Thank you!
The real question here is WHY do your friends hate your boyfriend? Assuming your friends have your best interests at heart, it sets off some alarms if they don't like him. The first thing to do is to sit down with your friends and really listen to why they don't like your boyfriend. Is it because they're worried about you? Because they have good reason not to trust him? If so, then maybe you need to look more closely at your relationship with your boyfriend. Your friends might be helping you out here! If, on the other hand, their reasons seem selfish or mean, then you'll have to tell them that you care about them but that you're going to continue seeing your boyfriend. If they're really your friends, then they'll accept that.

Is it ever ok to be jealous?
A little bit of joking jealousy can be a nice way to show your loved one that you care, but only a little. If jealousy starts to get out of control, then it's the most destructive thing for a relationship. If the jealousy is justified (i.e. someone's cheating), then the relationship should probably end. If it's not justified, then the jealous person needs to get a handle on his or her emotions. One way to do that is simply to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that you're feeling jealous and let them reassure you. Just make sure not to make any accusations when you do so, because that's sure to drive the most loyal lover away.
What do you do if your best guy friend starts acting all different around you and you think he likes you, but you're not sure?
Well, do you like him back? If you do, then I'd say do some flirting and see how he responds. You'll figure out pretty quickly if he likes you when you give him a valentine or hold his hand the next time you're at the movies! If you're not interested in making your friendship romantic then I'd just keep acting the way you always have, like a good friend, and wait and see if he brings it up.

How important is it to you for your significant other to get along with your family? If he or she does not get along very well with your family, will it bother you?
What would really bother me is if my significant other were rude to my family. As long as he's polite, though, it doesn't bother me if he's not best friends with my parents or my siblings. The important thing is to be respectful of the people in your partner's life. If your significant other is disrespectful to your family, then what that really means is that they don't respect you - and that is not okay.

For the freebie, Sasha has generously offered a signed copy of VIDALIA IN PARIS to today's lucky winner. To enter, leave a message below, offering your advice to one of the questions above.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Sorry I'm later posting this today. Bad. Flu. *urgle* Glad I prepared in advance cos I can't stand to look at the screen for long. Also why I haven't been replying to comments like I usually do. Sorry! But I have peeked in as much as I can and I must say, you guys are awesome. Thanks for your comments - your advice is great! Just a note - if you haven't left a comment on a previous day and you want to qualify for that day's drawing, you can still comment until Saturday when the winners are selected.

Meanwhile, I am very pleased to bring Melissa Walker back to the blog. Melissa's both a TeenFictonCafe sister and a GCC sister and I had to opportunity to hang out with her in New York a few months ago. Let me tell you, she's as fabulous as she is beautiful (which, as you can see, is a lot!) You may know her as the author the VIOLET series, VIOLET BY DESIGN, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY and VIOLET IN PRIVATE. She's also the one who posts those cool cover stories on her blog I keep talking about. AND, she is co-creator of I HEART DAILY, a free email newsletter and website that keeps you in on all the best of fashion, entertainment, beauty and news one snippet at a time. If you haven't subscribed already, I highly recommend it. In fact, you might want to check out yesterday's topic - Valentines For Guys Gift Guide! (Mentioned in her advice below, too!)
AND!!! Be on the lookout for her upcoming summer romance, LOVESTRUCK SUMMER, hitting the shelves this May!

You should know that Melissa is the consummate romance expert - she's up to her ears in romance every day, planning her summer wedding! So without further ado, Melissa's advice:

Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions?
Nope! But I do remember my favorite one was going to see WAYNE'S WORLD with my friend Ruthie. Then we went out to dinner afterwards--we were 15 and 16--and suddenly realized it was Valentine's Day. Oops! I didn't have much high school action until senior year.

Is it OK to go out with a guy if you know your friend likes him? They have never gone out and he only likes her as a friend.
This is definitely something to discuss with your friend. It kind of depends on how much she likes him. If she's been pining over him for two years and telling you about it all along the way, he's off limits. But if he's just a passing crush for her, the best thing to do is to talk to her and tell her that you think you and he might have something special, but you don't want that to mess up your friendship with her. I went through this very situation, and my friend gave me permission to date the boy she had a casual crush on. Now I'm marrying him in July! (And
she's happily married to someone else too.)

I'm a guy wh
o likes a girl at our school. My friends told her that I had a crush on her and now I'm nervous just being around her. How do I find out if she likes me, too?
Sounds like she's already aware of your crush, but hearing it from friends isn't the same as hearing it from you. I'd advise telling her straight out the next time you get to talk to her alone. Just say, "I'm sure you've heard that I like you," and then gauge her reaction. I did this once with a guy I had a HUGE crush on (I did it very spastically, told him I liked him, turned red and then ran out of the room--this I do not advise--though it did end up in a year-long relationship). Once you've told her about your feelings, you can ask her, "Do you feel the same way?" and then the ball's in her court. It's best to be honest about it--no matter what the end result. Good luck!

Do guys care about Valentine's Day? What kinds of gifts do they like? A card? Candy? Just a kiss? Help!
It's always nice to give a Valentine's Day gift. Cards and kisses are just perfect. And if you have a more serious boyfriend and want to buy something for him, there's a guide from Hey Josh ( up on I Heart Daily! (From Linda: See note above... subscribe to this newsletter!)

My boyfriend wants to do it, but I don't know if I'm ready. He says if I really cared about him I would. I don't want to lose him. What do I do?
Anyone who tells you you'd do it "if you really cared" is not looking out for you. If he loves you, he'll wait until you're ready. End of story. Don't let him pressure you--if you lose him because you won't do it, he wasn't worth your time in the first place. TRUST me. (From Linda: AMEN!)

Since LOVESTRUCK SUMMER is not out until May (tho you can preorder it now!) Melissa is offering for our freebie today this glam Valentiney Estee Lauder lip gloss!

And - because Melissa attended Chapel Hill High like another one of my favorite YA authors, I am also throwing in KEEPING THE MOON by Sarah Dessen.
Edited to add: Hey! Check out Melissa's blog for a great article on her with Sarah Dessen - the Teen Idols from Chapel Hill!!!

To be entered to win, leave a comment below giving your advice on one of the quandries above. Winners will be announced on Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Welcome to day #3 of our YA LOVE FEST!

Joining us today is romance expert Simone Elkeles, award winning author of LEAVING PARADISE, HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION, HOW TO RUIN MY TEENAGE LIFE, and the newly-released PERFECT CHEMISTRY (which Romantic Times Magazine calls "a gripping tale!") If you don't already know her, let me tell you - Simone is made of awesome and "certainly knows how to write romance," according to Kirkus Reviews.

Check out this rap video book trailer for PERFECT CHEMISTRY. I love it!

(You can also see the making-of video on her website. Too fun!)

Today's LOVE FEST giveaways are:

Buckeyes Chocolate Heart from Anthony Thomas

The Q&A:

What do I do? My best friend and I like the same guy! Help!
I actually had this happen when I was in high school. My friend Crissy liked this guy I was friends with - but while I was spending more time with him in an attempt to set him up with Chrissy, I started really liking him more than a friend.

If you and your friend started liking the guy at the same time, I say wait until he sets off some signals to see who he likes. If he likes you, your best friend shouldn't be mad if you start dating him. Break the news gently to her. If he likes her, try and be understanding and happy for her. Just remember, though, that best friends will be there for a long time and guys come-and-go.

If your friend started liking the guy first, then if he likes her you should let her date him and find another guy to crush on. That's just my opinion. I didn't go after Chrissy's crush, and they dated for over a year. I gave him up, and I'm still friends with Chrissy twenty years later...we both don't have any communication with Jon, the guy Chrissy dated and even went to prom with.

So, in my opinion, don't let your crush go just because your best friend has a crush on the same guy unless she liked him first and he really likes her. But at the same time, you don't want to jeopardize your friendship with your best friend. Is there someone else you like as well? Try and find a different guy to will save you and your friend a lot of stress.

Good Luck!

I love my mom, but she can be really nosy. She even friended all my friends on facebook so she can read our walls! I can't go out on a date w/o her trying to arrange all the details. Now there's this guy I like and I think he likes me but I don't want to talk w/ her about it b/c she'll try to take over like always. How do I tell her to let me handle this one?
Oh, this is a tough one! I think they call this a "helicopter mom" or "hovering mom". Remember that your mom loves you and wants to make sure you date the right type of boy and are not doing anything online that would jeopardize your safety. If you want to date this new guy, I think you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your mom. But don't do it when you're angry or upset - do it in a really mature way.

Tell her that you understand she loves you and wants the best for you (even if you don't believe this right now, just say it because it'll make her feel really good and it is probably true). Tell her that she's taught you to have high morals (no drugs, sex, drinking, etc.) and that she needs to trust you more. Tell her about the new guy (she'll respect you telling her up front) and that you really want to handle the relationship without her interference (although you should make him meet her). Tell her you'll be honest and open with her about the relationship, but you can't be open and honest if she's too involved. Tell her that her hovering is pushing you away instead of bringing you closer together (have tissues here, because a little crying on your part would be good right about now). Remind her that you love her, and always will. And then, when you're dating this new guy, ask your mom for advice so she feels involved in some way.

Good Luck!

The guy I like is really nice to me in private. He texts me every day and IMs on facebook. But when I see him, he ignores me! What's up with that? What do I do about it?
Sometimes guys will act different in private than they do in public. Just keep doing what you're doing - keep having a really fun and happy private relationship because I have a feeling the guy is just shy and needs time to be open about liking you in public. Texting is easy, and shy or relationship-phobic people can suddenly act and communicate how they would in public if they weren’t so shy because it’s not face-to-face. Be patient, because I have a feeling he’ll come around and start a more “public” relationship with you soon.

I know you might want to have the serious “why do you ignore me in public” conversation, but I’d hold off on that. Guys do not like drama or being pushed into something they’re not ready for and that might be the fastest way to get this guy out of your life. As I said, be patient. I know it’s hard to, though, because I’m the kind of girl who has the motto “I want it, and I want it NOW!”

Good Luck!

How do you get over a guy when you see him almost every day at school?
Oh, my heart goes out to you! I have had this happen to me, and it's not fun. Every time you see the guy, it’s totally depressing. Time does heal a little bit - every day that goes by gets easier and easier. Chocolate does help, but then afterward you feel chocolate overload and the good feeling only lasts as long as your chocolate binge. But for me, I have found that crushing on someone else helps more than anything. Is there someone else you might like? Open your eyes to new guys and look for someone else to crush on. Because soon you'll be dating someone else and wondering what you ever saw in guy#1 in the first place!

Good Luck!

And that's it for today! To be entered to win today's freebies, leave a comment below offering your advice for one of the questions above.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Welcome to day two of our YA LOVE FEST!

Before we begin, I want to give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to WENDY TOLIVER and LISA McMANN, both of whom have a release day TODAY!!! Be sure to grab yourself a copy of MISS MATCH and FADE! (Right after you finish reading this post...)

Today's YA romance expert is the fabulous Tina Ferraro,

Tina is also the co-creator of YA FRESH and blogs with six other YA authors at BOOKS, BOYS & BUZZ. You can read more about Tina on her website,

Meanwhile, today's lucky LOVE FEST winner will get to choose a signed copy of one of these books:

Now on to the Q&
Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions?
Yes. When my husband and I were first dating, we spontaneously tried to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. I think we got turned away at six different restaurants for not having a reservation before we gave up. So you’d think what we learned was to make a reservation...but no. We pick a different day of that week to go out. It’s never crowded, and we can be spontaneous!

Why do girls always fall for the hot bad boys even though we know they aren't good for us?
Hmmm...I was totally guilty of this one, so I can tell you from my point of view, it has to do with blood pressure. Hot guys, and especially hot bad boys, gave me an adrenaline drop, got my heart working overtime, gave me a rush, made me feel alive. Regardless of whatever objections my head offered. The good news for girls is that in most cases, a truly bad boy will go and do or say something that becomes a deal-breaker, and then your head wins out. (And it’s on to the next hot bad boy?)

My school's Valentine dance is this week and there is this guy that I like and I really want to dance with him. I want to ask him to dance, but I'm afraid he might freak out or laugh at me. What should I do?
Research, research, research! Has he had a girlfriend before? Does he tend to stay inside a safe huddle of guy friends? Is he confident in awkward situations? And most importantly, does he dance? If your spies tell you he’s mature and willing to dance, go for it! If not, I’d suggest hanging back and just trying to talk to him or smile at him, and hope he gets the signal that you’re interested in him.

I'm dating a guy, but he's not my boyfriend. We're going out on Valentine's Day. Do I get him a Valentine's gift? I don't want to send him mixed messages.
Yeah, this is touchy. Perhaps mention to him that your next date is on Valentine’s Day, say like, “Places are bound to be crowded” and gauge his reaction. That might give you an indication of how seriously he’s viewing his Valentine’s commitment to you, and whether or not he’s thinking of exchanging gifts. Also, you could have a little gift in your backpack or purse, and wait and see if he gives you something first.

What do you do when you are dating someone and you find out they love someone else?
There are a lot of variables here like how did you find out and from whom...but if you have reliable information that the guy you’re dating is in love with someone else, your best bet is to end things with him immediately. Then turn to your friends for a pity party, and try to focus your energies elsewhere. It may take awhile to get over him, but if he’s fallen for someone else, clearly he does not deserve you!

P.S. I happened to have three high school guys in my home when I was working on these, and incorporated their advice into questions 2 and 3!

To be entered to win one of Tina's books, leave a comment below offering your advice to any of the questions above. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.