Monday, April 30, 2007


by Lauren Barnholdt

Today's GCC blog entry is devoted to author Lauren Barnholdt, whose first book for teens, REALITY CHICK, was a Teen People Can’t-Miss Pick and a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age 2007. I'd bet her newest novel is going to be just as huge. Here's the summary:

Launching the new Simon and Schuster MIX line for tweens comes THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY by Lauren Barnholdt….

Mom says karma always comes around to get you, and I guess it's true. Because last summer I was a total liar, and now, right in the middle of Mr. Pritchard's third-period math class, my whole world is about to come crashing down…..

That's because while Devon was living with her grandmother for the summer, she told her "summer friend," Lexi, that she was really popular back home and dating Jared Bentley, only the most popular guy at school. Harmless lies, right? Wrong. Not when Lexi is standing at the front of Devon's class, having just moved to Devon's town. Uh-oh.

Devon knows there's only one way to handle this -- she'll just have to become popular! But how is Devon supposed to accomplish that when she's never even talked to Jared, much less dated him?! And it seems the more Devon tries to keep up her "image," the more things go wrong. Her family thinks she's nuts, her best friend won't speak to her, and, as if it's not all complicated enough, Jared starts crushing on Lexi and Devon starts crushing on Jared's best friend, Luke. It all has Devon wondering -- who is the real Devon Delaney?

Boy, this just instantly drops me right in the middle of junior high social life! I imagine it's a book any teen will love. THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY is in stores now. It's also available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells and BookSense. For more information, visit Lauren's website,

One Day Blog Silence

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Secret Confessions of the Connecticut PTA

In case you don't know, your local PTA is part of a larger statewide organization, which is part of the National PTA. I never gave this much thought until recently, when the Connecticut PTA invited me to be the keynote speaker at their annual conference this year. Turns out, Sally Boske and a few of the other officers there read Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA and thought it might be fun to hear how I came to write a book about a subject near and dear to their hearts.

And so ... yesterday I got into my minivan at six a.m. and drove three hours in the rain until I reached the Clarion Hotel in Bristol, Connecticut, where the 107th Connecticut PTA Annual Convention was held.

It was worth the trip, because the group was so warm and welcoming I quickly forgot I was among strangers. I can get pretty nervous addressing such a large audience, but I felt an immediate bond. I guess they knew I was one of them, and appreciated my jokes and anecdotes. Before I knew it, my speech and reading were over, and I got to sit with Beth and Christine, two terrific ladies from the Farmington Borders who came to the conference with a healthy stock of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA to sell. Then I got to meet a lot of attendees one-on-one as I signed books. What a great group!

The conference is a two day affair, and a lot of people asked if I was coming back the next day. Alas, Borders and I were only there for one morning, so I think I may have missed a few people. If you're one of them and you'd like a signed book, please stop by the Borders in Farmington, as I left them with a supply of autographed copies to sell in the store.

Also, I'm planning to visit individual PTAs in the fall to do fundraisers with the trade paperback edition of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. If your PTA would like to participate, drop me an email. I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Cyber friends, today I'm thrilled to be blogging about the debut YA novel from Paula Chase, a talented author with yards of experience writing for teen magazines, and miles of talent. Here's the promo for the book:

SO NOT THE DRAMA [Kensington Books/Dafina for Young Readers] introduces readers ages 11+ to bright-eyed, optimist Mina Mooney, a high school freshman with nothing more on her mind than climbing the popularity ladder, until a sociology experiment to rid the world – or at least Del Rio Bay High School – of prejudice backfires. The project causes a rift between Mina and her best friend, Lizzie and sends Mina on a journey of exploration that’s both funny and eye-opening.

SO NOT THE DRAMA is about the transition from middle to high school and the impact it can have on friendship.

Set to burst on the scene with her self-proclaimed Hip Lit, Chase takes readers back to high school where cliques reign supreme and going to class…a place to be seen.

Doesn't that sound like a perfect book for teen and tween girls? I think even my nine -year-old is going to be asking for this one. (Think she's too young?) This book's been getting some serious buzz, for instance:

“Contemporary friendship story, which revels in rich diversity of race, color and class.”

“Readers will like the genuine dialogue.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A multi-layered story…contemporary and thoughtful.”
—Little Willow of Bildungsroman

April Girls Life magazine Book Pick

April/May Crave selection, Right On! magazine

You can buy SO NOT THE DRAMA at your local bookstore, or from any online bookseller, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells and BookSense. For more information, visit Paula's website,

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rockaway Literary Arts Festival

Friends, I'm going to be at an exciting new event on Sunday, April 22, and I hope you can come. There'll be great things going on for writers, readers and filmmakers. Here are the details:

Rockaway Literary Arts Festival

Sunday, April 22, 10am - 5pm

at Fort Tilden in the Gateway National Recreation Area
Rockaway, New York

Books & Authors
Films & Filmmakers
Poets, Editors, Agents and Booksellers

The Rockaway Literary Arts Festival of 2007 is the first ever literary event of its type in Rockaway. Brought to you by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council, it brings writers and readers, filmmakers and filmgoers together for the first time to share interests and information and provide a unique cultural experience in South Queens. Here you will find authors and various publishing professionals participating in a series of activities and panel discussions touching on the art and challenge of the literary life.


Book Sales and Author Signings

sTudio 6 (Small Gallery)

Book sales by Borders Bookstore available all day, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Author signings scheduled as announced during the course of the day. Food and drink available for purchase in the book store area.

Panel Discussions

sTudio 7 (Main Gallery)

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Women in Literature
Moderated by Debbi Honorof, monthly columnist on books & authors for Long Island Woman.
Debra (Feldman) Borden (Lucky Me; A Little Bit Married)
Carol Hoenig (Without Grace)
Ellen Meister (Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA)
Ellen Shanman (Right Before Your Eyes)
Bibi Wein (The Way Home: A Wilderness Odyssey, Yes, Escapade in El Dorado)

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Eating Our Words (The Art of the Cookbook)
Moderated by Restaurant Consultant Michael Whiteman.
Arthur Schwartz (Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food; Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish recipes revisited)
Rozanne Gold (Kids Cook 1-2-3)
Brian Yarvin (Farms and Foods of the Garden State: A New Jersey Cookbook; Cucina Piemontese: The Cooking of Italy´s Piedmont; A World of Dumplings)

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Writing on the Edge (Horror & Suspense)
Moderated by Renee Rosenberg (author of Achieving the Good Life After 50: Tools and Resources to Make it Happen).
John Birch AKA Jonathan Linn (Dadah Means Death; A Corpse Called Icarus)
Sarah Langan (The Keeper; The Missing/Virus )
Jay Lillie (Havana Passage; The Pacific Affair)
Thomas O'Callaghan (Bone Thief; The Screaming Room; No One Will Hear You)

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Writing for the Ages (Historical Fiction)
Moderated by award winning novelist and poet Robert Viscusi, author of Astoria: A Novel and Professor of Literature at Brooklyn College.
Ellis Avery (The Teahouse Fire; The Smoke Week: September 11-21 2001)
Michael Drinkard (Green Bananas; Disobedience; Rebels; Turn Out Your Dead)
Jeff Janoda (Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland)
George Leal (Desire Provoketh; Horses of the Sea)
Steven Porter (Hannes Klaar; The Senator's Son)
Stuart W. Mirsky (The King of Vinland's Saga)

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM New Paradigms in Publishing
Moderated by Jim Correnti, New Voices Bookstore.
Stacey Barney, editor, Putnam Books for Young Readers
Michael Bourret, literary agent, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Roger Chiocchi, author (Mean Spirits)
Willa Correnti, co-owner/marketing director, New Voices Bookstore
John Feldcamp, CEO/founder, Xlibris Corporation
Michaela Hamilton, executive editor, Kensington
Marian Lizzi, Editor-in-Chief, Perigee Books; Senior Editor , G.P. Putnam’s Sons

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Children's Literature
Moderated by Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts.
Amalia Hoffman (Purim Goodies; Friday Night with the Pope)
Julie Markes (Shhh, Everybody’s Sleeping; Where’s the Poop?; Good Thing You’re Not an Octopus)
JT Petty (Clemency Pogue; The Squampkin Patch; The Scrivener Bees)
Bonnie Timmermann (Chocolate at the Four Seasons)
Stephen S. Yaeger (Ian and the Woodins)

Panels will be followed from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM by an AWARDS CEREMONY to recognize the winning student writers in the peninsula wide writing competition. Free one year subscriptions to Writers Digest awarded to winners, plus publication in the Rockaway Music and Arts Council Best Writing of the Rockaways Anthology, plus free publishing packages provided courtesy of iUniverse and Xlibris to the schools of the winning entries.

Screenwriting Symposium – The Literature of the Silver Screen

Ft. Tilden Post Theater

Interviews and Panel Discussions with Screenwriters and Filmmakers Moderated by George Rodman, Chair of the Brooklyn College Department of Television & Radio:

Robert Sarnoff – Documentaries: The Irish Ropes
Kevin Breslin – Documentary: Women of Rockaway
Kevin Boyle – Documentary: Wounded Warriors
Yisrael Lifschutz – H.A.G. A tongue-in-cheek feature film: An Hasidic Actor Meets Hollywood
Pamela Popeson – Mixing stage and screenwriting: The Bigger Thing and What Comes Next?
Beth Lauren – Immaculate Concoction, Getting Ned, Clean
Jennifer Callahan and Elizabeth Logan Harris – Documentary: The Bungalows of Rockaway
Jesse Moss – Full Battle Rattle
Debra Eisenstadt – The Limbo Room
Brett Morgen – Documentary: Chicago Ten

Poetry Readings in the Open Air

The Moon Stage

Original poetry readings by the authors throughout the day:

Dan Guarino
Susan Hartenstein
Robert Viscusi


ROCKAWAY CENTER FOR THE ARTS (ROCA),FORT. TILDEN, QUEENS, NY EXHIBITIONS AND MONTHLY MEETINGS By Car From Belt Parkway, Exit 11S, go straight across Marine Parkway Bridge, stay right, follow sign to Breezy Point off bridge. Make left into park at first traffic light. From Woodhaven Blvd. to Crossbay Blvd. Go over Crossbay Bridge, go west on Beach Channel Drive. Follow sign to Breezy Point (bear right). Make left into park after first traffic light (Just past the entrance to the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge). See Mapblast for complete map and directions.

By Public Transportation From the Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College subway stop (2 and 5 subway lines) take the Q35 to Fort Tilden. From Beach 116th Street, take the Q35 or Q22 to Fort Tilden. See the MTA for Bus and Subway maps.

For more information, please contact Stuart W. Mirsky

Saturday, April 14, 2007


By Sarah Rosett

The talented and popular Sara Rosett is doing a cyber tour for her latest Mom Zone Mystery, STAYING HOME IS A KILLER, and I'm delighted she agreed to participate in a GCC Does Hollywood blog entry.

I asked Sara how she'd pitch the book to a busy movie studio exec, and here's what she said:

Ellie cuts clutter—in closets, that is. A professional organizer, she sorts for a living. Her ordered world is thrown into disarray when a friend’s death looks more like murder than suicide. Toss in her husband’s deployment and her daughter’s separation anxiety, and Ellie’s got to sort clues from chaos.

Sounds filmic to me! Here's how Sara would cast it:

Ellie: Sandra Bullock—because I think she'd get the blend of seriousness and humor

Mitch (Ellie’s husband): Val Kilmer—loved him in The Saint

Livvy (Ellie’s daughter): don’t know any actor this young—Livvy’s only 18 months old!

Penny (mousy art historian): I’m totally stumped on this one. It would have to be someone who’s self-effacing and not concerned about her appearance at all. (Editor's note: May I suggest Glenne Headly? She's a wonderful actress we don't get to see enough of.)

Abby (Ellie’s best friend): Kelly Ripa has the right blend of enthusiasm and the tendency to say exactly what’s on her mind, but Abby’s more of a full-figured gal with dark, curly hair.

Will (Penny’s husband): Matthew McConaughey—he’s got the lackadaisical air about him--he'd be perfect for Penny’s careless husband.

STAYING HOME IS A KILLER is available at bookstores everywhere, and from online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells and BookSense. To learn more, visit Sara's website,

Friday, April 13, 2007

Browse inside

HarperCollins has this cool new feature that lets readers browse inside their books. They call it a widget, and I just got one for my book. Here it is:

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"I Like Spring"

Here's a poem my Precious Girl wrote when she was 5:

"I Like Spring"

By Emma

In spring,
Flowers are in bloom
White crocuses are my favorite
I like my bike
It has a bell

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I TAKE THIS MAN By Valerie Frankel

Today I'm happy to blog about writer who's new to the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, but has been publishing warm, funny, audacious women's fiction for years. Her name is Valerie Frankel, and if you're not familiar with her books, I urge you to give her a chance. This is one talented writer!

Here's what people have said about her:

“Valerie Frankel cracks me up! Kooky, sexy, and downright hilarious, Hex and the Single Girl had me laughing to the very last magical page” — Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries series and Size 12 Is Not Fat

“Reading a novel by Valerie Frankel is like hanging out with your favorite and funniest friend.” — Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date

“Always wickedly entertaining!" — People magazine

"Quite simply, Frankel makes reading a blast. No premise is too outlandish and no character is without a set a flaws. The plot [of ‘I Take This Man’ is cleverly kooky and not one many authors could realistically pull off. Frankel has an endless bag of tricks that seems to get deeper—and more hilarious—with every novel."—Romantic Times

Here's a synopsis of Valerie's latest, I TAKE THIS MAN:

I TAKE THIS MAN by Valerie Frankel is a hilarious story of suspense, revenge and revelation, involving a bride, a groom, her mother and his father.

Penny Bracket has waited two years to marry her dream man, Bram Shiraz. But just as Penny’s putting on the final touches on her wedding day, she receives a note from her beloved that simply says, “Penny, I can’t go through with it. Sorry, Bram” Mortified, Penny is determined to figure out what went wrong, even if it kills her, or, preferably Bram.

Ester Bracket, Penny’s divorced mother wants Bram’s head on a platter. And she gets it: In a fit of maternal rage, Ester finds Bram as he’s packing to flee, knocks him out with a bottle of champagne, and kidnaps him to a secret room in her mansion in affluent Short Hares, New Jersey. Will Penny get the answers and revenge she’s after from Bram, who (as she may or may not discover) is locked in her attic? Will Bram’s widowed father, handsome tough guy Keith Shiraz locate his son and/or seduce Ester Bracket? Will Bram, athletic and regretful, escape both his wedding and his imprisonment in one piece? Find out in I TAKE THIS MAN.

I TAKE THIS MAN is in bookstores now, and is available from online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit Valerie's website,