Friday, April 28, 2006

Meet Natalie R. Collins!

Now here's something exciting. You may have heard me flap my gums about the fact I wrote a funny and serious book about a group of sexy surburban housewives before ABC launched a funny and serious television show about a group of sexy suburban housewives. Well, Natalie Collins is in the same boat. She wrote an intense and inside look at the closed world of the Mormon Church before HBO lauched their Big Love TV show, which, as you probably know, is an intense and inside look at the closed world of the Mormon Church.

Interesting timing, no?

Anyway, her book, WIVES AND SISTERS, was just released in paperback and I'm buying it because it looks like the kind of character-driven drama that will wrestle me to the ground and hold me there until I turn the last page. Here's the synopsis:

Set in the closed world of the Mormon Church, WIVES AND SISTERS is the gripping story of a young woman on the run from evil, powerful men. It opens with a look back at the sudden disappearance of Allison Jensen’s best friend, who was kidnapped while playing in the woods near home. One moment her friend was beside her; then she was gone. When no leads emerged, she was given up for dead. Now, years later, trying to fill in the gaps of a patchwork memory, Allison still gets no answers from the Mormon community in which she lives. She is stuck in a world where she does not fit with a father who tyrannizes and torments her as the self-appointed messenger of God. Why is she being fed half-truths? When a brutal attack makes her desperate to escape Mormon bonds, Allison finds herself on a collision course with community leaders as they cover up the steps of a sexual predator.

Mark Peterson is trying to live a life of impeccable standards, dictated by Mormon tenets, and when he fails, the consequences are deadly, as he will do almost anything to protect his standing in the community of Saints. Allison is determined to bring Mark and those who didn’t stop him to justice, before they stop her from piecing together the tragic past that has haunted her for so many years

I don't usually link the author's website until the end, but if you've read this far, please click here for a link to the best book trailer I've seen. It's so simple yet so effective. Bravo, Natalie!

And now, here's what people are saying about this book:

A dark, powerful debut novel. Natalie Collins pulls no emotional punches crafting this searing tale of one woman's search for justice.” ---Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of The Killing Hour

“Natalie Collins' Wives and Sisters is a journey through heartbreak, tragedy, and self-discovery with a courageous woman who dares to think for herself in a dogmatic society. This is a story for anyone who has ever questioned what they've been taught all their life; anyone who has ever doubted their self-worth, and everyone who loves to cheer on the underdog and watch them triumph in the end. You'll be glad you took this journey with her.”---Tina Wainscott, bestselling author of I’ll Be Watching You

“Please warn your readers, this is not a book that can be put down. It’s so compelling, so dramatic, with strong suspense and mystery elements, that I had to find out what would happen.” ---Perri O’Shaughnessy, New York Times bestselling author of Unlucky in Law

“Wives and Sisters is indeed a suspense novel. It is not a condemnation of a faith, but rather those who follow blindly. It makes the reader think. Can you have faith without deceit? Can religion have too many rules? Read the novel for yourself. Make up your own mind.” ---The Clarion-Ledger

“…the author brings authentic color and gripping detail to her book, which underscores the very real mentality of protecting the Church at all costs, thus allowing offenders to abuse their victims over and over again without consequence.” ---The Tucson Citizen

“Well-written, fast-paced, Natalie Collins’ Wives and Sisters is suspense filled satisfaction with a bone chilling, thought provoking similarity to recent events.” ---

“Wives and Sisters is a gripping tale oozing with skillful feminist commentary about the patriarchal nature of Mormonism, which may earn Collins disparagement in her home state. A spirited decision for a newcomer, and it earns her the status of a voice to watch.” ---Riverwalk Journal

“…fans will be stunned by this tense thriller that condemns extremist religious and social moral behavior at the cost of any segment of society." ---Harriet Klausner

“Don't be surprised if you devour this book in one reading. Natalie Collins has captured the essence of a page turner by giving us a three dimensional characters, plenty of action and a healthy dose of controversy.” ---Midwest Book Review

“Author Collins excels in developing Allison, an extremely complex character. She is, at once, filled with rage, yet still compassionate and loving - rebellious, but loyal and ready to lend a hand when needed, even to her father, stepmother and family who have so wronged her.” ---Mostly

"Wives and Sisters is a raw, emotional story that never gives into sentimentality. It puts a plain, unvarnished face on the secret workings of the human soul and the price of blind faith." ---The Celebrity Café.com

"This is a book written with skill and passion and I suspect it will resonate with women who have never set foot inside a Mormon church. These problems are too widespread to pin down to one place, one time or one institution." ---The Washington Times

"WIVES AND SISTERS is clearly one of this year's best books; riveting, painful at times, realistic always, and completely unforgettable. It not only makes you cry, it makes you think, which is my personal hallmark of an excellent read. Natalie R Collins has emerged as one of the finest new authors I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Brava, Ms Collins! Brava!" Rendezvous Review Magazine “Rosebud of the Month” winner

WIVES AND SISTERS is available at your local chain or independent bookstore. To order online, visit or

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Attention American Idol fans ...

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. If you're not reading Susan DiPlacido's hilarious observations and opinions, you're missing the best view in the house.
Susan's blog

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Home from vacation

Despite the unpacking and mountains of laundry and difficulty in cramming everyone's clothes back into their drawers (do garments expand on vacation?), it's good to be home. For me, it was a restorative vacation, mostly relaxing by the pool in my parents' backyard, with Florida's cloudless sky reminding me to let go of my stress and appreciate my blessings. The kids splashed around in the water and enjoyed the lavish attention of four starry-eyed adults who think the sun, moon and earth revolve around them.

On the publishing front, I did a reading in Boca Raton, arranged for me by my south Florida publicity team (thanks Mom! thanks Dad!). It was well attended by folks who struck me as real readers, so I'm hopeful that at least a few of them will buy the book when it comes out.

My father, above, introduced me. Since he's notoriously Republican, he started off the festivities by pretending he thought he was at a George Bush fundraiser. Ha! First thing I did when I took the podium was to make sure the crowd knew that I was not there to support Dubya. Heaven forbid.

I got the feeling more of the crowd were on my side of the political spectrum, but it's Florida, so what difference does it make? Even if I took a vote, George Bush would somehow win.

I also popped into a few local bookstores to introduce myself and leave behind a flyer about SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA. So for the warm reception I got, big thanks to the folks at the Barnes and Noble in Boca Raton, the Borders in Boca Raton and the Books-A-Million in Delray Beach (and sending all good wishes to the folks at the Books-A-Million in Deerfield Beach, who are busy getting the hurricane-damaged store back in shape).

And now the relaxing stops. This week, I have to do one last edit on THE SMART ONE before sending it off to my agents and editor. Then I have to start working on my third book for real. It's a high concept story and I'm in a bit of a panic about whether or not I can pull it off.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Meet E. Lockhart!

Today I'm proud to introduce you to a Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit writer who somehow knows how to write the kind of magic that lights the imagination of teens. Her new book, FLY ON THE WALL, looks like something I would have devoured in my younger days, with or without the munchies. Here's a description:

Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything is about a girl called Gretchen Kaufman Yee who goes to a wacked-out art school in New York City. She's a collector of plastic Chinese food and odd figurines, a passionate comic-book artist, and a crazy Spider-man fanatic. She's also completely freaked out by the opposite sex -- in particular, the Art Rats, a group of guys in her drawing concentration. One day, she wishes she could be "a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room," just to find out what the heck guys really talk about.
And the next thing she knows... she is.
A fly.
On the wall of the locker room.

Damn. I would have died to get my hands on that when I was a teenager! Here's what some reviewers and others are saying:

"The stylish text (rendered nearly multivocal by the periodic font changes) combined with Gretchen's frank fascination with the oddity and then the humanity of the male body and psyche are a rare treat." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“A super-smart, super-sweet, and super-fantastic read.” -- Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras & Broomsticks and Milkrun

"Narrator Gretchen Yee will grab readers from the first page with her snappy commentary." -- Publishers Weekly

"This unexpectedly sharp comedy charts its own metamorphosis -- from teen angst ("Life as an Artificial Redhead") to surreal wish-fulfillment fantasy ("Life as a Vermin") and beyond ("Life as a Superhero"). Gretchen Yee, a well-intentioned but self-absorbed teen smarting over her parents' sudden divorce, wishes she could be "a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room" -- and then has to deal with the consequences when her wish inexplicably comes true. Stuck in observer mode (upon pain of squishy death), she learns to consider others' perspectives, enabling her to mend fences with her father, play matchmaker for her love-struck best friend, and connect with her own crush upon her return to human form." -- The Horn Book Magazine

FLY ON THE WALL can be found at your local chain or independent bookstore. To order online, you can visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Don't miss the chance to send your favorite teen to E. Lockhart's incredible website,

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Azizan Pesach and welcome Micaela!

I have a new niece! Born today, right on her due date!

Of course, this means my brother and his wife won't be joining us for tonight's Seder, but you can bet they'll be as loved and celebrated as possible.

Wishing everyone as much joy as we have on this Passover!

The best American Idol blogger on the net

My friend Susan DiPlacido.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Separated at birth?

Is it my imagination, or do Kevin Covais and Melissa Etheridge look like twins?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Right Hand Diamonds

By Susan DiPlacido

Susan DiPlacido is one of those rare individuals who's as smart, generous and funny as she is talented. As far as I can see, her only fault is that she can't take a compliment, and is going to want to send me a present for saying all this about her. But Susan, sit on your hands and let me finish ...

Susan DiPlacido is a natural storyteller with a gift for merging setting, plot and characters in a way that grabs the reader and doesn't let go. With two books already published and a third sure to make a hit soon enough, it's clear she's going to have a huge career as a novelist. But right now, you're lucky enough to have the chance to read one of her gems for free ...

"Right Hand Diamonds"
By Susan DiPlacido

Her first comment isn't, "Welcome home."

She rakes her sharp gaze over me, halting at my throat as I say, "Hi Auntie." So I put my arms around her frail shoulders to give her a weak hug. She bristles but manages to pat me on the back. But as I pull back, there's no cordial "hello" or "good to see you" greeting. And though her frame is slight and thin, she's still a formidable presence as she stands firm, not stepping aside to welcome me inside.

She purses her lips, immaculately painted with a slightly rosier than flesh-tone as her eyes focus again at my neck. She doesn't comment on my suntan or my hair. Instead her mouth slits open and with her bottom row of teeth showing, still glaring at my neck, she asks, "Is that real?"

I say, "Well, if you can see it, it's not imaginary."

She tsks.

This woman, she is my family.

She is my great aunt. She was my grandmother's sister, and since my nonna's passing she has been the de facto matriarch. Married 60 years to the same man, she keeps him alive through a strict regimen of low-fat sauces, vegetables and lean meats. They never had children of their own, and as the queen of the family, she is afforded the respect, if not affection, that is due to her position.

She takes a step aside and allows me entrance. I hand her the box of pannetone I brought back for her and my uncle. She sets the box at the entryway with a curt, "How thoughtful," and immediately dusts her hands off. Turning her back and walking briskly inside, she says over her shoulder, "I see you ate your share of the local cuisine, dear. I hope you didn't bring back extra for yourself to snack on."

"No," I tell her as I tug on my shirt. "I just thought Uncle Ted would enjoy it."

"Oh that's way too fatty and sugary for him," she says. "Come now, get inside and close the door."

Though they are clean, I slip off my shoes so I don't trample her cream-colored Berber carpet and she leads me to the parlor and directs me to a stiff-backed chair. I say, "Italy was gorgeous, Aunt Marie, you'd have loved it."

"I've been there. I was born there, dear, I know what it's like," she says as she takes a seat on her plush divan.

Of course.

"But Bellagio," I say, "I've never seen such a gorgeous place."

"Hmph," she clucks as she neatly folds her hands over her knees. "Those northerners, they're so lazy and indulgent."

"Mmm," I just sigh, not sure how to respond, how to proceed. I glance around the meticulous room with its carefully positioned knick-knacks, all of them tight and tiny, a wash of light and airy hues, with Aunt Marie's shock of tight-curled preternaturally black-dyed hair the only contrast, besides me. Feeling as though I'm going to sully the upholstery of the chair, I shift and cross my legs, try to make myself smaller by folding my hands over my knee the same as she does as I straighten my posture in this unforgiving chair.

Auntie says, "Don't you have better things to spend your money on?"

"Oh, um, it wasn't that much, really," I tell her. "I got a good deal on the airfare and I didn't stay on Lake Como the whole time. I went to Milan and the hotel there was less…"

"Not the trip," she says, cutting me off. "The bauble on your neck, dear."

I reach up and finger it lightly, as if to reassure myself, though that makes no sense, considering it's obviously in place because she's noticing it, she's talking about it.

"It wasn't all that much," I say.

It's a lie.

It was a lot. It was an awful lot. And of course I have better things, more important things, to spend my money on. Retirement savings, mortgage payments, Ricky's nest egg, cancer research, health club dues, taxes, Christmas presents, charitable contributions, makeup, condoms, liquor, clothes, car, whatever.

This, this thing around my neck, it's useless. It's frivolous and extravagant. It doesn't do anyone any good.

"Do you really need something like that?" she asks me.

But it's pretty, this thing dangling from my neck. It's sparkly and shiny. When I tried it on, it made me feel special.

"I wanted it," I tell her, dragging my fingers away before they tarnish its shine.

"So it is real, then," she nods. "You kids. You want everything without having to earn it. A diamond, dear, is a symbol of love. Not a vanity piece."

My cheeks go hot, and I pin my gaze on her hand, the one primly folded on top of the other, resting on her knee. On her ring finger, on her right hand, is a sparkly rock. It's my nonna's engagement ring.

I can't hold my tongue, but I measure my words carefully. Nodding at the ring, saying, "Then what exactly is that symbolizing?"

This woman, my great aunt, she is not to be trifled with.

Her eyes flash and her lips go narrow as she hisses, "It's a remembrance of my sister. And I told you to never mention it again."

I'm a rotten niece. I'm rotten because I'm pleased that it upset her. I'm rotten because I know she's so defensive because she knows she's wrong.

My grandmother was plump and lush in her body, and she was soft and sweet in her soul. After my mom died, my nonna helped my dad take care of us. She made us rigatoni every Sunday and when she was getting older she took me aside and told me stories as she opened up her photo albums and jewelry box and showed me pictures of my grandfather and the ring he gave her when he proposed. Holding the ring, Nonna told me, "I want your brother Ricky to have this when I'm gone."

And I asked, "Why Ricky?" I wasn't mad and I didn't feel slighted. I just wondered why him instead of my older brother Gianni, since he was closer to marrying age anyhow. Or me, I guess, cause I was a girl. Ricky was just a little kid.

And she said, "Gianni has your mother's ring. And you, someday a man will fall for you the way your grandfather did for me. The way your father did for your mother. And then you'll have your own. But Ricardo, he's just a bambino. He needs to remember his family. He needs it the most."

That was my grandmother. That used to be my family.

My grandmother knew her sister could be prickly, but she wouldn't like me causing dissent or ill-will, even if Auntie is wearing what was meant to be my brother's ring. My face flushes again, I drop my eyes and apologize. Backpedaling, "I didn't mean it like that, Aunt Marie. I just meant that it doesn't have to be about a romance, that's all."

"No, but it's a token of love," she says. "If you bought it yourself, that devalues the whole idea."

I don't bother to tell her that the intent, or lack thereof, sure didn't cut me a price break -- the value is still pretty damn high according to Tiffany & Co. I just finger it again. It's a one carat round solitaire pink diamond. It's a contrast to the three stone white diamond ring I wear on my right hand. And the white bracelet I have. I haven't taken the necklace off yet.

I bought the three stone ring after Jack broke my heart by cheating on me. I got the bracelet after Vince told me it wasn't me, it was him – and then he got engaged and subsequently married six months later to another woman. The necklace, this necklace that Aunt Marie's riled up about, the one I can't stop touching, I just got it a couple days ago in Milan. His name was Romeo, this guy who inspired this new luxury purchase.

I met him on the beach in Bellagio outside the Villa Serbelloni. It was magic hour, that luscious time of day between sunset and dusk. That twilight time that lingers briefly, where a divine light glows with soft edges and misty rapture. The Italian Alps framed the background as he strode out of the azure lake, water skimming off his taut muscles, dripping from the ringlets of his shaggy dark hair.

I knew he was trouble right away.

He dropped to his knees in front of me. In a Milanese dialect he said, "Bella regazza. Sempre sarò triste se con me Lei non avete pranzo."

This guy, Romeo, that's what he said to me.

In English, that roughly translates to: "Pretty lady. I'll be unhappy forever if you won't have dinner with me."

And in my American, 30-year-old, single-girl jaded dialect, it translates like this: "Nice tits. Wanna fuck?"

At that moment, I felt lucky that genetically I got Nonna's plump curves instead of my aunt's trim efficiency.

Oh, Romeo. Yes, they actually have guys in Italy named Romeo.

I didn't go there to meet a man. But what the hell, I was on vacation, he was charming. I went to dinner with him. Halfway through the meal, as his mouth poured impromptu poetry, extravagantly laced with glowing compliments to weaken me, I told him the deal straight up. I said, "Romeo, you're very handsome. You're very sweet. But this isn't necessary, you don't have to sweet talk me. I'll sleep with you anyhow. I'd prefer it if we kept it honest like that."

He frowned and said, "You Americanas. You've all forgotten romance. I say these things not to have sex with you. I say them for they are true."

I knew better. I knew the lavish compliments weren't sincere, they were just a means to an end. But even though I have that hard, wise shell outside, inside I'm still soft and sweet. And stupid.

Inside, there's still that glimmer of hope.

So I asked him to stop but he poured the wine, saying all the right things. Saying all the wrong things. Saying things to make my head spin and face flush, kissing me to make my heart flutter, going slow with his hands and making my pulse race.

Repetition works, and it wasn't long before that glimmer sparked and I started to feel the shine of possibility, though I was careful to keep my mouth shut.

When he leaned over me and growled in my ear, "A woman like you, cara mia, I could die for you," I knew better. I didn't ask it aloud, but still I had a fleeting thought: Yes, Romeo, but could you live with me?

And I thought briefly, maybe, someday, he could be my family.

Romeo, Romeo, I'd have slept with you anyhow, Romeo. But I've since figured out that Italian men don't court the same as American men.

But they leave the same as American men.

That translates this way: Romeo dogged me a couple days later. No note, no arrivederci, no nothing. I saw him frolicking on the beach later that afternoon with a new, thin girl. I waved to him and he turned away and whispered something in her ear.

That's what he did, that guy, Romeo.

This is what I, the 30-year old jaded American girl, did. I got what I needed at the local farmacia, and when I spied Romeo and his bony blonde having dinner that night, I tromped right over. I didn't take a seat. I just stood there and pulled the package of lice shampoo out of the box and set it on the table next to him. I raised my voice an octave to sound sweet and innocent. To sound stupid. And I said, "Oh, Romeo, I know you're probably still mad at me for, well, you know." I mimed a scratching motion in front of my crotch. "But here, I got you this. The guy at the store said it would take care of the crabs right away." I smiled and cheerfully chirped, "I feel all better already!"

Romeo glared at me. The blonde, she stared, mouth agape. She leaned away from him. I said, "Oh, sorry. Guess you're gonna need some of this too."

It was worth making myself look like an ass to so effectively cock-block the player. Self-satisfied, I skipped up to my room. But the satisfaction was short lived. Even if I didn't take it very classy, the fact remained, I'd still been dumped. Again.

So I moved on to Milan, feeling foolish and forlorn. Feeling twice the fool for feeling forlorn because I knew better anyhow. Window shopping, the necklace caught my eye. A solitaire in a simple setting. Pink, playful and romantic, glinting with girlish romance. But tough too. Harder than a rock, virtually indestructible. I didn't trust the salesman when he told me how lovely it was on me. I trusted how it made me feel. Besides, it wasn't really useless. Someday, maybe Ricky could get the setting changed and use it as an engagement ring when he decides to start his own family.

But for now, it's for me. Sometimes, I need a little something sparkly on the outside to reflect that rapidly diminishing glimmer on the inside. Maybe, a little glitter will catch someone's eye and they'll stick around long enough to notice I can shine.

I don't tell my Aunt Marie any of this. She's still staring at me, expecting an explanation, a defense. Her lips, they're pursed.

I stay silent as I look back at her. I don't reach up to touch the stone, I can already feel it, resting gently at the base of my throat. I know it's there.

My uncle shuffles through the room, winking at me, saying, "Welcome home! Did you have a nice time?" He takes a seat on the on the soft divan next to my aunt. He says, "Scootch over, Dovey." That's what he calls her, Dovey. Short for Lovey Dovey. I know, if they weren't so old it'd make me nauseous.

Auntie answers for me, telling him, "She did plenty of shopping, that's for sure. Look at her neck, Theodore. Gracious."

He squints and smiles, pats his wife's knee. "Oh Marie," he chuckles and moves his hand up, covers her hand. Her right hand with my nonna's diamond on it. He pats her hand and says, "She's got a good job, it's nice to have a souvenir from a trip."

Auntie sniffs, but she just can't let it go. "A souvenir, yes. But that's extravagant." She pins me in her gaze again. Saying, "It's useless. It doesn't mean anything! Really dear, a single girl like you. Do you really need something like that?"

My face flushes, again. But I don't break her stare. I say, "I think single girls need something like this the most."

* * *

This story first appeared in Fifteen Project

If you like this story, please order Susan's steamy love-sex-gambling novel, 24/7, or her fun, fabulous romance, Trattoria. To learn more about Susan, visit her website at

Guess what Lisa Kudrow is reading?

My book!

She's doing the audio version (her first ever) and I couldn't be more thrilled! In addition to being incredibly famous and tremendously loved, she is so freaking talented. I can't wait to hear what she does with it!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Someone sold my ARC on eBay

Can you read the type on the picture above? Just under "uncorrected proof" it says "not for sale."

An ARC, as you may know, is an Advance Reading Copy of a book that has not yet been published. These are galleys that are rushed to press before a single soul has had a chance to proofread, so that reviewers can get an early look at the book. Naturally, they're a mess--full of errors and all sorts of horrors that make writers cringe in embarrassment. And even though we know that reviewers are savvy to this and are willing to overlook the gaffes, it drives us crazy to see these imperfect representations of our work circulated.

So you can imagine how insane we get when some greedy, unethical weasel gets his hands on our ARCs and sells them on the open market. I could go on and on about this, but a hilarious writer named John Warner already did a better job with it than I ever could. So if you have a few minutes, I urge you to read John's open letter to the jerkoffs who sell ARCs.

When you're finished reading it, you might just want to order John's book, Fondling Your Muse. That's what I did.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Meet Tanya Lee Stone!

Wow! Today, just as I was getting ready to blog about Cyber Girlfriend Tanya Lee Stone, I saw a giant spread in Newsday on how racy YA books are becoming. The article was called "Page Burners: Sex and the teenage girl."

I guess this isn't news to Tanya, who wrote a book called A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL. According to this starred review from the School Library Journal, she's right there at the head of the pack with this smart, literate, and racy novel:

"Three girls succumb to the charms of one sexy high school senior and emerge wiser for the experience in this energetic novel in verse....The free verse gives the stories a breathless, natural flow and changes tone with each narrator. The language is realistic and frank, and, while not graphic, it is filled with descriptions of the teens and their sexuality. This is not a book that will sit quietly on any shelf; it will be passed from girl to girl to girl."- School Library Journal, Starred Review

But that's not all the buzz this hot book is getting. Check this out:

"It's fantastic--hip, edgy, and addicting. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always real. Sure to be the new Forever."- Award-Winning Author Cynthia Leitich Smith

"Stone's novel in verse, more poetic prose than poetry, packs a steamy, emotional wallop...suggest(s) a mature audience, even though the sex isn't graphic. The lessons learned here, however, are important: the girls realize they'll be hurt again, but they are now "Forewarned / Forearmed / Forever." - Booklist

"The three (very different) teen girl narrators in this candid free-verse novel form a chorus of varied perspectives on how a 'bad boy'-the same boy for all three-causes them to lose control before they even realize what's happening. Stone's portrayal of the object of their (dis)affection is stereotyped, but the three girls are distinct characters, and she conveys the way the girls' bodies and brains respond to the unnamed everyjerk in electrically charged (and sexually explicit) detail. Finally returning to her senses, Josie decides to post warnings about her ex in the back of the school library's copy of Judy Blume's Forever... because 'every girl reads it eventually.' Others add their own caveats in a reassuring show of sisterhood. As this scribbled 'support group' illustrates, even the most careful and self-aware among us sometimes gets bitten by the snake in the grass.'"- Horn Book

If you know a sophisticated young lady who loves to read, this is the book to get. You can find A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL at your local chain or independent bookstore, or online at or For more information on Tanya, visit her website at

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Horoscope

According to Astrology Zone, lots of cool things in store for us Scorps in April, including this:

Your first piece of good news concerning your growing status will occur on April 5, the date when Saturn moves direct. Since last December, Saturn has been creeping along in retrograde motion, keeping your career progress at a snail's pace. Things will change dramatically from April 5 onward, though, so fasten your seat belt! You are about to get clearance from the air traffic control tower to lift off! Saturn is now positioned in your career house, so from April 5 onward, it will be time to make long-range decisions, firm up plans, and move on them assertively. People from whom you needed decisions and advice were lackadaisical, but no more - everyone will seem alert and alive around you.

Check yours here.

Reading in Boca Raton, April 18

I'll be reading a selection from SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 PM. If you're interested in attending, please send me an email at ellenmeister (at) hotmail (dot) com, and I'll be delighted to give you the details.