fortunes from zoltar freaking mcavoy

no lucky lotto numbers. i only deal in truths.

for kiersten white, who is more wee than me: you are headed for a land of sunshine. so you are probably going to trader joes or something.

for mariah irvin, who owes me a naughty punishment: you will soon be honored by someone you respect. but the person will be dressed like a clown when it happens. sorry.

for beth, who lives not-too-far-away: long life is in store for you. also, a parrot.

for raven, who is addicted to fruit punch: your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far. your car will also take you far. so use your car if you want to get there faster.

for storyqueen, who doesnt know what a goldendoodle is: now is the time to try something new. consider bocce or lawn darts.

for twaddleoranything, who does: the evening is full of surprises. im not sure which evening, but one of them will definitely make you go, "whoa! i did not see that coming."

for myrna foster, who is not responsible for hulk hogan: good news will come from far away. but it wont come if you check your email obsessively.

for frankie diane mallis, who likes vampire diaries like i like the snuggle bear: something you recently heard will be unexpectedly useful. like this fortune. somehow.

for jade, who had an awful day at work: prosperity will soon knock on your door. so will a jehovahs witness. the two events will be unrelated.

for lotusgirl, who got lost in my eyes and hopefully found her way out: rome was not built in a day, but my lego coliseum was. be patient. but not too patient.

for daisy whitney, who lives in the coolest city in america besides where steph lives of course: keep your plans secret for now. except from twitter.

for jessie oliveros, whose name makes me think of martinis: soon you will be sitting on top of the world. or, at the very least, an upright refrigerator box.

for laini taylor, who is not a robot, thank goodness: take the bull by the horns. or back slowly out of his pen. either one. but make the decision quick, before he gores you.

for sharon, whose link doesnt work: new and rewarding opportunities will soon appear. so will that boring sock you lost.

for grimmster, who has a face like a sunset: friends long absent are coming back to you. you might not want to answer their calls. i think they want money.

for lilie, who smells strangely like myself: your present plans are going to succeed. and your plans for a present will fall apart. so have a backup gift ready.

and for christopher martin, who didnt ask but is getting one anyway: your toast will be burnt at breakfast tomorrow. your soy latte will be cold. and you will find a slug in your raspberry jam.

goodbye. see you again. in the future.

zoltar mcavoy


q & a with james freaking mcavoy

me thinking face. so picture that.

kristy colley: If you wrote a book, what would it be called?

"the da vinci code," and i would have written it eight years ago.

mariah irvin: James! I never said you could visit Steph! You're my personal assistant remember? Goodness, what am I going to do with you?

roll me in custard and strap me to a unicycle.

daisy whitney: Could you please take your shirt off in every movie? OK, thanks.

sorry. but i did just sign a no-trousers clause with disney.

frankie diane mallis: I second Daisy...also the next time you take over Steph's blog can you do it shirtless?


jeannette: I recently heard that Anne Marie Duff is pregnant with your child! Just wanted to say congratulations. Also, I second the request for shirtlessness.

thank you! everyone is quite giddy. if its a girl, were going with "marvin." if its a boy, "craisin jukebox."

also, done.

lilie: James love, what's your signature cologne? Not that I am going to scent my bathrobe and wrap it around me or anything totally inappropriate like that.

i wear earthworm with a wee dab of marshmallow.

lotusgirl: So, um, James, do you realize how positively charming you are? How could you not?

its the cologne. ladies love the worm.

grimmster: As I am a dude, I will say that yes, you are a handsome lad. But, I can't really go into more detail. And you make good movies.

im afraid ill need more detail before i can respond.

storyqueen: Dog or Cat? If Dog, which breed? If cat....why, James, why????

i would never say no to a goldendoodle.

julie: Wait...girlfriend?? ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME, JAMES MCAVOY???

never! theres plenty of me to go around. im like a ferris wheel. or a really big bag of potato chips.

kiersten white: Hi love. When were you visiting again? Can you convince Steph to come with you this time? The beach is lovely. And I promise not to laugh at your brilliantly white legs again. Also, did you get the cookies? You never mentioned them. Chris must've sniffed them out. How do you ever hide chocolate from him?

my lamb. im visiting this march to avoid another ghostly leg incident. (the ocean is still too cold in march, correct?) thank you for me thin mints. i caught mr martin after hed only eaten half a sleeve. not bad! but he left chocolatey fingerprints on the sofa.

unfortunately i cant share my hiding places, as he reads this blog.

mary clare: Hey, James! Nice to see you again. I always hear about Chris and his obsession with chocolate, but not enough news about you. My question-How do you feel about having to compete for attention from Stephanie with the other celebrity boyfriends, especially the HBM? Also, I heard a rumor that you shared a bunk bed with Jim Sturgess when you stay at Stephanie's house - can you get me his autograph?

thank you. i am telling chris you said that.

oh its rough. catfights, boxing, pistol duels, chess matches to the death — we do it all! no, its quite easy and the company is nice. its true jim and i share a bunk bed. he called the top bunk years ago but what he doesnt realize is that ive been sleeping in it for the last sixteen days.


i will ask about the autograph next time hes here.

jessie oliveros: Did you feel like you had to put aside a little bit of your manliness for Narnia? Now be honest.

jessie . . . i am all man.

thanks everyone!

steph is still busy. so if you would like me to tell your fortune, leave a comment.


Happy Happy Happy News

My apologies to everyone waiting to hear from James McAvoy, but . . .


And I have numbers.

A RELEASE DATE (December 9th), an ISBN (0525423273), and a PAGE COUNT (384). And I realize these things are "whatever" to most people, but this information ranks as Astronomically Exciting on the debut author scale.

And do you know who else is on Amazon? My friend Kiersten White! Her fantastic debut Paranormalcy was recently made available for purchase HERE. You know how Beautiful Creatures and Hush, Hush were *the* talked about YA debut books last autumn? Yeah, that book this autumn?


If you like romance and humor, I hope you'll consider pre-ordering our novels. You could even do it at the same time! And then we'd have that whole "Frequently Bought Together" thing going on.*


Speaking of talented friends, did you hear Laini Taylor's Silksinger just received the CYBIL award (Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary award) for Middle-Grade Fantasy novel of the year? I couldn't be more excited or proud! I'm SUCH a fan of her Dreamdark series, and it's thrilling to see it get the recognition and praise it deserves.**


And further congratulations to her husband, Jim Di Bartolo, who gives her words such beautiful illustrations! I am so happy for them both.


I am so happy.

*There's a chance I may have already done this, as evidenced by this part of my receipt:

**Also, my name is in Silksinger's acknowledgments. Which means now my name is in an AWARD-WINNING NOVEL. Just so you know.


greetings from james freaking mcavoy

my noncelebrity girlfriend is busy this week, so i am in charge of the blog.

please leave questions for me in the comments. they can be about board games or biscuits or time machines or anything else that catches your fancy. i wont answer them all, because i dont have to. ha ha. but i will answer some of them.




Italy + Iceland (but still no France)

Sometimes writing feels like this.

I'm working on a Big Scary Deadline right now, but I wanted to check in with you. My apologizes to those expecting emails from me — you'll probably have to wait a little longer. And my apologizes to anyone looking for more Paris! Writing those posts eats hardcore time, so the wrap-up will have to wait another week or two.

In the meantime, if you're in the mood for armchair travel, please allow me to direct you to Sarah, who recently took a trip to Venice! She has many great pictures and stories in her January Bookduck archives. (You'll need to scroll down a bit.) Also, don't miss the incredible story about the person she sat next to on her flight to Italy.

And because pretty pictures make me happy, I'm adding a few more. In a minute.

The picture at the top of this post is from the new Jónsi video, "Go Do." If you're not familiar with Jónsi, his full name is Jón Þór Birgisson, and he's the vocalist and guitarist for one of my FAAAVORITE bands EVERRR, the Icelandic post-rock group, Sigur Rós.

I've posted their video for "Glósóli" a few times in the past, because it's the most beautiful, magical music video I know. (And all of their videos are interesting. This one is cute.) They also made a wonderful documentary called Heima that involved playing a marimba made from volcanic rocks. The band is a significant part of the reason why I have an Icelandic obsession. If you've been reading my blog for a while, perhaps this rings a bell. If not, allow me to assure you:

I like Iceland. A lot.

Anyway, Jónsi's debut solo album, Go, is being released this April, and it would be near-impossible for me to be MORE EXCITED. The best way I can describe how his music makes me feel is . . . hopeful. And not in an "I'm gonna sing some inspiring lyrics to a heart-tugging electronic track" kind of way. Genuine hope. Hope that passes the superficial brain level and buries itself somewhere deep inside my emotional core.

[In my opinion, this is the most fascinating thing about music — how everyone reacts differently to the same work. Instant love or instant hate or instant shrug. How music can actually, physically change how we think and act. But that's a much longer post for another day.]

[For the record, I like the superficial stuff, too.]

So here are those pretty pictures, snatched from his website:

And I just bought tickets to see him this April in Minneapolis! HURRAH! (My sister lives in the city, so I'll fly there. Otherwise, yeah, that would have been a random location for me to pick.) Jarrod and I saw Sigur Rós a few years ago, and the show was the most — here's that word again — beautiful we've ever seen.

(He's not always a Ziggy Stardust bird. I'm a fan of BOTH Jónsis!)

The new show should be amazing. Here are the inspiration pictures for his stage:



I'll leave you with his new video. Even if this isn't your type of music, if you're interested in the visual arts, I hope you'll skip through it. It's GORGEOUS. Similarly, if you're interested in making music, you might want to check out his very peculiar drum. (One of my favorite things about him is his eagerness to create music with unusual items — violin bows on guitars, stomping feet, toy pianos, etc.)

He also creates music with unusual musicians.

Thus ends my Jónsi report.

Talk to you all soon! Have a lovely week/weekend!

Jónsi - Go Do from Jónsi on Vimeo.


And the winner is . . .

WOW. I just typed 265 entries into this random name picker! I am thrilled so many of you were interested in my romance-themed giveaway, and I'm already scheming up the next one. Look for it this April!

I'd love to draw out the process, throw in a few commercial breaks or whatnot, but I'll leave that level of cruelty to reality television.

So the winner . . . izzzzzzzz . . .


Chloe's comment said: "I'm kind of a sucker for romance. Titanic, Twilight, Vampire Academy, Beautiful Creatures... Pretty much the entirety of all of those are some of my favorite romantic scenes."

You're in the right place! I'm a sucker for romance, too.

Er. Obviously.

Congratulations, Chloe! [If you have not received my email, consider it stolen by gremlins, and please send your mailing address to: steph AT stephanieperkins.com] And thank you to everyone else for entering. My heart is happy and warm.

There were many comments in agreement with me about North and South, as well as Pride and Prejudice — both the Matthew Macfadyen AND Colin Firth versions. (For the record: OF COURSE I also love the Firth version!) Several of you mentioned The Rain Scene, and I especially loved commenter Emily for typing out the line from The Hero Walk Through the Fog: "You have bewitched me body and soul and I lov-I lov-love you."

The stuttering! Swoon.

Here are the other entries that recieved multiple mentions:

— Hermione and Ron FINALLY getting together
The Notebook
Love Actually (Nearly *every* scene/character was mentioned!)
— Candy shop scene in Shiver
— Peeta and Katniss (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire)
— The end of Secretary
Bridget Jones' Diary (film)
— THE LETTER in Persuasion
— Nora and Patch making out in the kitchen (Hush, Hush)
Becoming Jane
10 Things I Hate About You
Room With a View (film)
Say Anything
Dear Frankie
The Princess Diaries
Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
Jane Eyre
— Colonel Brandon & Marianne (Sense & Sensibility)
The Phantom of the Opera
Wuthering Heights
— Rose & Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

You have EXCELLENT taste, friends. And there were dozens of novels and films (and manga!) that got singular mentions, some of which I'd heard of and some of which I hadn't. Cool!

Here are a few of my favorite comments:

Auntie Maim: My favorite is from one of the books in Francesca Lia Block's Dangerous Angels, I think Weetzie Bat (I'm away from my books right now). It's a first kiss: "A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs."

I looooooooove the Weetzie Bat series. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Begy: One of my most fave romantic scenes is from Brokeback Mountain, when Jack is saying "I wish I knew how to quit you" to Ennis.

AHHH! I KNOW! And *THE JACKET* at the end! Sob sob sob.

Melissa: My single favorite scene from a movie is at the end of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, when the whole house is falling apart around them and Clementine whispers "Meet me in Montauk." The fact that they find each other again... oh! It just almost makes me believe in fate.

It DOES make me believe in fate! Such a perfect film.

L.K. Madigan's Valley Girl breakdown:

Randy (Nicolas Cage) hides in a bathroom waiting for Julie to show up, because he's a bad boy with semi-punk hair who got thrown out of the party, but he really wants to get to know her. Finally she comes in, and he asks her to leave with him. She's adorably shocked and Valley Girl-ish, and says, "Where would we go?"

"I don't care."

"Well, what would we do?"



He gazes at her soulfully, and she finally says yes. Then he gives her a quick kiss, and leaves by the window. They meet outside with their BFFs and have adventures in Hollywood, complete with the Plimsouls singing in a dive bar and then kissing while they look at the lights in the Valley.

It's been way too long since I've seen Valley Girl. Hello, Netflix!

And how much did I love Renee for putting Cherry Darling and El Wray from Planet Terror on her list? Oh, man! They totally got me, too. Best zombie fighting couple ever! And at least two people pointed out that I'd forgotten to mention Across the Universe.

WAIT. WHAT?!?!?!?

You're right. And I'm mortified. I'd better make up for it with a video (spoiler alert/end of film):

Okay. And now I'm crying.

I love that movie.

Oh! And I totally wanted to give my friends/critique partners Kiersten White and Sumner Smith EXTRA ENTRIES for saying nice things about my novel. It's a good thing I'm STRONG and can RESIST the temptation of FLATTERY.


Sumner: Also — I'm quite partial to Anna and her English French American boy.

Kiersten: Okay, and I'm not sucking up because the drawing is random, but one of my all time favorite kissing scenes is IN YOUR BOOK. WHICH I NEED A PHYSICAL COPY OF SOON SOON SOON so I can read it whenever I want and SWOON SWOON SWOON.

But if that doesn't count, in Willa Cather's O Pioneers! there is an achingly beautiful kiss between two doomed lovers. Ah, doomed love. So not fun in real life, so delicious in literature.

I love that scene! The O Pioneers! one, I mean.

And — cough cough — mine, too.

I still have another Paris post coming, but I'm not quite up to it yet. Is it weird to be homesick for a place that isn't your home? For whatever it's worth, I am. I miss France. I miss it so much, I'm finding it difficult to talk about.

It's a good thing I'll always have romance.


Giveaway! For reals! Enter! If you want!

From Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant. Which you should read.

Twenty-six hours, four flights, and two missing suitcases later . . . I'm home. The airline assures me the luggage will arrive in a few days. But whatever. Did I mention I'm home? Which means I AM NOT IN PARIS?


My last week was as heavenly as the rest. I have a few more pictures and fun stories to share, but as the cord that connects my camera to my computer is in my luggage, they'll have to wait. (And hopefully my laptop will be fixed this week. I'm using a desktop Mac right now, which is noisy and sits next to Mr. T's litterbox but, on the plus side, turns on. Which is more than my laptop can say.)

Mr. Tumnus. Because I missed him.

I swear I did not name my cat after James McAvoy.

So I'll wrap up Paris later. Besides, I have something BETTER to talk about — A GIVEAWAY!

As most of you know, Anna and the French Kiss is a love story. It's also about Other Things, of course, but . . . mainly it's about a hunky dreamboat and making out. So as Valentine's Day approaches, I'm honoring love stories — and Anna! — by giving away:

♥ A classic romance, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

A contemporary YA romance — like Anna! — Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler's Scrambled Eggs at Midnight

Orange blossom marshmallows from Ladurée


I selected Pride and Prejudice, because it's my favorite love story and, even if you already have it, it's my firm belief that you can never own too many copies. I mean, IT'S MR. DARCY. And how fantastic is the cover of this new edition?

I selected Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, because I wanted a YA novel you might not be familiar with. Here is Booklist's description:

"My mother is a wench. It says so right on her W-2." Fifteen-year-old Calliope (Cal) is tired of sleeping in tents and following her free-spirited mother, who works at Renaissance fairs, selling handmade jewelry and serving drinks. She yearns for four walls, her father back in Texas, and a deeper sense of place, connection, and love. While spending the summer in Asheville, North Carolina, Cal meets Elliot, whose father runs a Christian camp for overweight kids. Like David Levithan and Rachel Cohn's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this coauthored love story unfolds in alternating chapters narrated in Cal and Elliot's hilarious, heart-tugging voices.

I adore this novel! It's strange I've never mentioned it here before — or their second novel, Dream Factory, which I also love — because it's romantic and clever and just-so-happens to take place in my town. AND it's published by Dutton, who is publishing Anna and the French Kiss.


Finally, I wanted to bring you macarons from Paris, but since they grow stale within a day, here's the next best thing – marshmallows in my favorite Ladurée macaron flavor, fleur d'oranger. Decadent!


(1) Leave a comment in this post about your favorite romantic scene(s) from a novel or a film.

This puts your name into the drawing once. If you'd like additional chances to win . . .

(2) Link to this post from your blog! Let me know in the comments if you do this.

This puts your name in the drawing TWO more times.

(3) Link to this post from your Twitter account! Let me know in the comments if you do this.

This also puts your name in the drawing TWO more times.

So if you do all three steps, your name will be in the drawing five times! You have the rest of this week to enter (through the end of Sunday), and I'll announce the winner on Monday, February 8th. This way, the package can arrive before Valentine's Day.

[EDITED TO ADD: Yes! This contest is open internationally!]

Good luck!

To get you in the spirit, here are a few of MY favorite romantic scenes. I'm sticking with movies, because I'm feeling kinda lazy.

Will Ferrell singing "Whole Wide World" to Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than Fiction:

Mr. Thornton and Margaret at the train station in North and South (spoiler alert/end of film):

I also love the heartache in the "Look back at me" scene. If you like Austen-type films and you HAVEN'T seen the BBC's adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, HOLYCUPCAKES GO RENT IT NOW NOW NOW!

Ah hem.

The triple kissing in Amélie (spoiler alert/end of film):

Christian singing "Your Song" to Satine in Moulin Rouge!:

I also love the finale. Oh, it kills me.

And, of course, the rain scene in 2005's Pride and Prejudice:

Also swoon-inducing is The Hero Walk, of which I couldn't find a video! It's a good thing I HAVZ PICTURE:

The Hero Walk, complete with fog and billowy coat.

Is that enough? Not for me, but it probably is for you!

And now I'm eager to hear about YOUR favorite romantic scenes.

MONDAY MORNING, FEB. 8th: The giveaway is officially closed. The winner will be announced later today!