Unteachable: The Reading: The Results.

YOU KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME.

So I finally sat down with my fellow menace to sincerity, Dahlia Adler, and listened to all of your entries for the Unteachable Read-Aloud Contest of Ultimate Doom ‘n Stuff, and as Wesley Brown would say…you are all VERY talented.

I’m gonna cut right to the chase and give you our chat transcript as we listened to these. Enjoy. I know we did. And I’m not culling the us-struggling-with-technology bits because they’re funny so deal with it. Continue Reading

Embarrass yourself for the entertainment of others! And maybe a prize.

Girl reading

In a recent interview with the lovely Dahlia Adler, she asked which passage from Unteachable I’d read aloud at a signing. The truth is, I don’t think I could. My blood alcohol level would have to be near-lethal to get me to do it.

But you guys aren’t as repressed as I am, right? Of course not, you filthy monkeys. That’s why you’re going to enter this for-fun (and maybe for-a-prize) competition to read a passage aloud from UT.

Here’s the deal: you can pick any scene from Unteachable, or you can read from the excerpt below. It’s up to you. Try to keep it under 5 minutes. Send me an audio or video file, or link me to where you’ve uploaded it. I will post all of the entries after the deadline and a Special Mystery Judge (read: Dahlia) will help me choose the winner.

Oh yeah, and I’ll be doing a reading too, just for fun. So feel free to send me booze.

  • DEADLINE: January 1, 2014
  • REQUIREMENTS: Audio or video of you reading a passage from Unteachable.
  • PRIZE: TBD, but probably a swanky Amazon gift card.

If you want to remain anonymous, that’s fine. Just make sure I can contact you in some way for the prize.

Here’s the default excerpt from UT (you don’t have to use this one).

Aaaaaaaand…go.

Wrapping up this crazy November, and dishing about my next book.

99c sale is over

First up, the 99c sale on Unteachable is OVER. All retailers except Amazon are back to full price. Amazon changes it when Amazon feels like changing it, so you may have a couple hours left to grab UT at the sale price before it switches back. I won’t be doing another 99c sale for a good long time.

(For future buying decisions: my books will always debut at full price, and will not go on sale until long after release. If you’re worrying about waiting for a random 99c price drop—don’t.)

Goodreads Choice Awards + USA Today Bestseller

Sadly, UT didn’t make it into the final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Debut Author, but hey—even getting into the semifinals was amazing. As was hitting the USA Today Bestseller List. The love you guys have shown for this unknown indie author is endlessly humbling. Thank you so much for reading, voting, and joining me on this crazy rollercoaster ride.

Next book

Laney

I hinted at my next book in this excellent interview about Bad Girls, Slut-Shaming, and Sexual Empowerment in YA + NA (which includes a giveaway for a signed paperback). Now I’m going to do a little more than hint.

My next book (codenamed NACR2—because I’M CREATIVE) is a New Adult contemporary romance/suspense novel. Our main character, Laney, has a secret she’s been keeping from everyone—one that drives her to do things she never thought she’d be capable of. Things like causing pain.

And ending it.

Armin

In Laney’s freshman year of college, she meets two people who change her life forever: Armin, a boy who becomes the light in her darkness (not a sexual euphemism, swear)—and Blythe, a girl with her own secrets, who is willing to cross any line for those she loves. The three of them become inseparable…until a crime one of them has committed threatens to tear their trio apart.

Blythe

I’m doing a few things very differently in this book compared to most New Adult fiction, and I’m a little nervous about how it’ll be received. But I took risks with Unteachable, too, so apparently I’m setting myself up to be That Author. The one who pushes boundaries and makes you uncomfortable. This novel is much darker than UT, but in some ways I think it will, ironically, be less disturbing, because there’s no huge age gap. Will the other elements squick some people out? I can only hope.

If you’re curious, I’ve got a Pinterest inspiration board for this novel that contains some delicious mancandy. And girlcandy, too, if you’re into that.

By the way, for fans of Unteachable: this is not a sequel or spinoff to UT, but you will definitely recognize a certain minor character. ;)

I’m hard at work on this WIP right now, and I’ll share more details with you guys in the near future. As always, thanks for reading.

Bad Girls, Slut-Shaming, and Sexual Empowerment in YA + NA.

End Slut Shaming

Heather at the Flyleaf Review interviewed me on the topics of Bad Girls, Slut-Shaming, and Sexual Empowerment in YA & NA.

This is, IMHO, my best interview so far, and definitely the one I’m most proud of. These topics are important to me as both a writer and a reader who’s sick of seeing the same sexist, stereotypical treatment of sexuality and romance in fiction for young adults.

One of my favorite snippets from the interview:

Heather:

I love that Unteachable looks at the taboo subject of forbidden romance between a teacher and a student in a new way. It’s not a new subject, but I think you made it fresh in that neither Maise or Evan try to justify their affair. … I thought this exploration of the darker side of their relationship was very compelling. What have you found most readers opinions to be on this, positive or negative? Did it surprise you?

Leah:

… Some of the most fascinating reviews I’ve gotten have been 4- or 5-stars that say they loved the book but did NOT love the romance between Maise and Evan. However, it made them think and examine their own values and beliefs, or they empathized and rooted so strongly for Maise that the relationship was almost tangential. That amazes me, because this is obviously a romance–but the fact that so many people are responding positively solely because of the heroine and what *she* goes through and overcomes? Awesome. I am so happy that Maise is the star, not Evan. When readers say, “I fell in love with the heroine, not the hero,” I get this huge grin. Go Maise.

Read the full interview and add your voice to the discussion. There’s also a giveaway attached, and some hints about my next book.

Unteachable is up for Best Debut in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

Goodreads Choice Award 2013

Holy stuffed ponies, people. My little ol’ romance novel Unteachable is up for the humbling honor of Best Debut in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

And you guys wrote me in to get this book into the Semifinals. You are seriously the best readers ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you are a person who votes on things, and also a person who enjoyed Unteachable, you may enjoy clicking on things. It’s cool if you don’t vote for UT—there’s a disgusting amount of deserving literature up there.

Best of luck to the other nominees. It is pretty damn surreal to see my book listed beside titans like Gail McHugh.