6.17.2014

ISLA AND THE PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN


It's always odd to switch gears from writing to promotion. Especially these days.

As some of you know, my next novel isn't a romance. It's horror. A balls out, blood spattered, high-body-count slasher. So I've been spending my days carefully crafting the gruesome and unusual deaths of numerous teenagers, and I've been spending my nights urging my Twitter and Tumblr followers to pre-order a very sweet novel about hope and true love.

HA!

I like it.

Doing both—being both—makes me enormously happy. I mean. It's important to have balance, right??

But . . . you probably don't want to hear about high body counts right now. (Many of you probably don't ever want to hear about high body counts.) (That's okay.) So I'm gonna talk about pre-ordering instead.

The incredible folks at Penguin have put together something *WONDERFUL*.

Everyone who pre-orders Isla and the Happily Ever After from one of these participating fifty-five (FIFTY-FIVE!) independent booksellers will receive:

• A signed copy (hardcover, first edition, published by Dutton)

• A bundle of fun ANNA/LOLA/ISLA-related decals

• A bundle of three buttons

These buttons! Perhaps you've seen them on Tumblr? :-)

You will also, of course, receive my gratitude. Humbled and ecstatic. In fact, you'll feel this gratitude reaching out to you through the ether instantly after purchase. It will feel like a hug from a soft, friendly, bear-rabbit type animal.

That's me. That's my hug. Thank you.

But . . . what's this??

There's more! You know that ANNA/LOLA/ISLA tote bag that's—so far—only been available to readers who have attended my events this year?

Twenty-five people per store will also receive an ANNA/LOLA/ISLA tote bag.

think each store will be selecting the winners at random, but you may want to double-check when placing your pre-order. Some of them might be first come/first serve.

(Adorable but jerkface cat not included.)

FAQ:

My local bookstore isn't participating. Can I still get in on this?

Absolutely. Most of the bookstores on this list will be very happy to ship to you. Pick one and try. (You can always pick my local indie bookstore, Malaprop's! Love them.)

Are any of the participating bookstores in Canada?

Yes! There are two Canadian bookstores on this list. Scroll to the bottom.

I don't live in the United States or Canada. What about me?

No problem. Many of the bookstores on this list ship internationally. I know for sure that my local indie bookstore Malaprop's does. (If you don’t see your country listed at checkout, tweet or email them, and they’ll add it. They are super nice!)

So . . . 

Back in April, I signed a few thousand tip-in sheets. These are the pages that will be bound into the pre-ordered copies. (If you're a John Green fan, no doubt you're already familiar with this concept.) While I was grateful not to be signing 150,000 pages* like John (HOW IS HIS HAND STILL ATTACHED TO HIS ARM??), I did discover . . . it's an unusually exhausting activity. 

*Remove two zeroes to get closer to my number.

My signature normally looks like the one at the top of this post. But I learned that I could only sign for so long. Otherwise, I'd FORGET how to sign my own name. Mid-signature!

So I'd sign a page like this:

You can hear the stop-and-go in my brain.

Or even this:

What does a "P" look like? I DON'T KNOW! HELP ME.

It was pretty embarrassing.

I mean, I'd be sitting there alone, signing and watching the Wallander series for the third time or listening to episodes of My Brother, My Brother and Me, so it's not like anyone was looking over my shoulder and judging me. Still. A large part of me wanted to crumple up all of the ugly signatures and bury them in the recycle bin.

But . . . I didn't.

Not because I overcame any great personal hurdles, mind you, but because. You know. My publisher paid for those pages.

So I blush and apologize in advance to those of you who get ridiculous signatures. Most of them are okay. Some of them are even cool!

For instance, one person who pre-orders will get this:


And *ten* of you will find one of these:


That's a rose. If you couldn't tell.

(I hope you can tell.)

I had to teach myself how to draw one! I've always wished I were a Josh who could draw beautifully, but, alas, I am an Isla. I can only admire those who do.

HEY, SPEAKING OF.

Have you read the first fifty pages of Isla and the Happily Ever After? Did you know that you can read them RIGHT NOW? You should probably GO READ THEM.

And then . . . you should probably pre-order it.

I'll just place this full list of participating stores right here. For your convenience.

Thanks, you guys.

xo

6.03.2014

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: A GORGEOUS COVER

See it even bigger here.

I'm so excited and proud to present you with the cover of My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories.

Isn't it lovely?

Our editor Sara Goodman had the idea, Olga Grlic did the design, and Jim Tierney is the phenomenal illustrator. (Jim has done a TON of beautiful book covers. If you visit his website, I'm sure you'll recognize some of them!) Jim was our top choice, and we were all ecstatic when he said yes!

I adore the colors, the handwritten text, the stars and ornaments and trees and snow . . . and those those figures ice skating on the pond? They're the characters from our stories! How wonderful is that?? I love how classic it feels. Like a holiday card received from a beloved friend.

I can't even begin to tell you how often I just open up the file on my computer and STARE AT IT. 

My characters are on the bottom left—red skirt, red plaid shirt. So cute!

My favorite part, though?

Those eleven other names at the top.

I'm so, so, so happy to have all twelve authors on the cover. Those of you who read a lot of anthologies already know how rare this is. I'm grateful that Sara—and everyone at St. Martin's Griffin—recognized this anthology as a project about joy and friendship and love. Every author worked HARD to make this happen (from conception to publication, it'll be less than a year), and it was important to me that every author receive equal billing.

Thank you, St. Martin's.

Thank you, authors.

I mean, guys . . . did you see the authors in this collection? Holly Black! Ally Carter! Matt de la Peña! Gayle Forman! Jenny Han! David Levithan! Kelly Link! Myra McEntire! Rainbow Rowell! Laini Taylor! Kiersten White!

Isn't that nuts??

I can't believe how lucky I was to work with these people. I've learned so much from them, and I'm so freaking proud of their stories. All twelve stories are romantic and smart and funny and breathtaking. Some of them will make you cry. Others will make you laugh out loud. They'll all make you swoon.

I'll let the other authors choose what to share about their stories. But . . . I can tell you a little bit about mine! It's called "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown," and it's about a girl named Marigold, a boy named North, a beautiful Christmas tree lot, and one life-changing night. It's the first story I've written that I've set in my hometown of Asheville, NC. And it was so much fun!

I think you'll like it. I think, I think. :-)

I'm so thankful for these authors for trusting me with their work. And I'm so thankful for Sara Goodman and everyone at St. Martin's for understanding this project . . . exactly.

My True Love Gave to Me will be released on October 14th.

You can mark it to-read here on Goodreads. And here are some places where it's available for pre-order: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

This anthology is . . . really and truly special. The stories make you feel good inside. I can't wait for you all to read it this holiday season.