True Colors Open House

I should probably be in bed right now – okay I DEFINITELY should be in bed right now – but I can’t. I’m too excited! Tonight (as in yesterday) I went to an Open House for True Colors in Hartford, a group that works with LGBT youth. It was for those interested in volunteering, mentoring, and fostering.

I’ve been wanting to get involved for years now, but I never could manage to get around to it. I even filled out the application – twice – but never sent it in. Life got the best of me.

But last week at the retreat (post on that later) I thought about it again and was like yeah, YEAH I’m going to do it.

And then I got the email about the open house. Before I could chicken out, I sent Amber an email saying I’d be there.

AND I’M SO GLAD I WENT.

Everyone I met was amazing. I was nervous at first going in, but that faded so fast. I love the space. It’s so positive and welcoming I was completely at ease. What an amazing place for youth to go to! I donated copies of each of my books to their library. And then I saw the library. It’s nice, but they had it arranged by color. And it needs to be fixed. I volunteered.

Okay, more like literally FLAILED at the opportunity to fix it.

What can I say? I love books. And I love organizing them. And they have BOXES to be sorted and omg I want to go tomorrow and start! D:

Focus, Jen.

So I also might be doing something with a writer’s workshop and Paul mentioned a book club and I may have flailed a little at that, too. Also putting together something for the conference in March which I was supposed to do last year…but again life got in the way of that.

Really I can’t wait to get my volunteer application in. I’m so freaking excited to start. Why did I wait this long to do it? I’m so energized I can hardly sit still! And I should be in bed!

Sleep is for the weak.

For more information about True Colors, you can visit their website here. 

And because it’s important, if you’d like to volunteer or donate to True Colors, follow this link directly for more information! Every little bit helps!

Tristant and Elijah – OFFICIALLY RELEASED!

So excited! Tristant and Elijah has officially been released everywhere and so far the reviews are great! Head on over to the reviews section of the page to see more, but here’s a few excerpts!

I truly loved the supportive role that Tristant played for Elijah in his journey. Elijah’s anguish, and Tristant’s empathy and kindness are palpable. These two are really tender boys–and I’m glad that they found each other. – Veronica from V’s Reads

 

I found the story to be relevant and one we can all relate to. Many of us have had the experience of having a crush on someone we cannot have. – Amos Lassen

 

Have you read Tristant and Elijah? Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Year In Review! Movies

I don’t go out to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure it’s awesome.

This year, I actually only went twice. The first time was at the beginning of the year to see Warm Bodies. I had gotten free advanced preview tickets from a friend of mine and took my two sisters with me. I’d read the book first, and then saw the movie. While they were both different, I loved them both. The movie was fun and definitely geared towards teens whereas the book was for adults. I did prefer the end of the book more, though, but I guess it would have been hard to pull off on the big screen. At least, in a way that made sense. You can see my review of it here.

 

 

Every Thanksgiving my family eats dinner together and then goes to see a movie. This year, despite my wanting to see Thor, my family chose Frozen, and I’m glad they did. I’ve reviewed it here. I liked it so much I went and bought the soundtrack the next day and have all of the songs memorized already! My little sister even got me a Frozen poster for Christmas. Haha, grow up? Never! But it really is a great movie and a great way to end the year. Disney is going to have a hard time topping this one, at least in my books.

FANTASTIC DEALS!

Hey everyone! You do NOT want to miss out on this at all. For some reason, maybe for Pride Month, Amazon is running a sale on a ton of Bold Strokes Books titles. Many of them are the incredible young adult novels that are NOT to be missed. I’ve included the titles and links in the following list so you can take advantage of the sale now while they’re only $.99 cents! YES. 99 CENTS. Can you even believe it?!

Mesmerized by David-Matthew Barnes: http://amzn.com/B007HBKZLO
In Stone by Jeremy Jordan King: http://amzn.com/B00A10E5LO
Father Knows Best by Lynda Sandoval? http://amzn.com/B0046REOMS
me@you.com by K.E. Payne: http://amzn.com/B0073YTUNE
Speaking Out edited by Steve Berman: http://amzn.com/B006F9FM44
365 Days by KE Payne: http://amzn.com/B005KCKYQS
Cursebusters! by Julie Smith: http://amzn.com/B007QPBRTK
Street Dreams by Tama Wise: http://amzn.com/B007FURBVO
ONLY $.99 CENTS GUYS! Get them while you can!

I have officially held a chipmunk…

And it only took going to Colorado to do it!

Hi everyone! Been too long since I updated. I figured I’d do it because I’m supposed to be working on edits for Meeting Chance. No better time than the present, eh?

So over Memorial Day Weekend I was in Estes Park, Colorado for a wedding. I fell in love with the place. Just a few days there and I can’t wait to go back. I’m seriously considering moving out there someday in the future. Maybe if everything works out and the stars align…

Anyway, I wanted to share a post I made on Facebook, in case there are any YA authors, or authors with YA appropriate books, who read this and are interested in participating.

ATTENTION YA AUTHORS! I had this great idea. My coworker has a board in her classroom that features teachers and students each month, their picture, and their favorite books. I would LOVE to do a featured author board in my classroom. I have giant boards and currently don’t really use them.
Would any of you like to be on my feature author board? 😀 I would post your picture, a copy of your book, your top five favorite books appropriate for teens (or adult books that teens can read with no inappropriate content) and a few short questions for you to answer for the kids to learn more about you.
I really want to expose them to as many authors as possible. If you know someone who would be interested, please share this with them as well. If I don’t already have your YA book for my classroom, I will by it and add it to the collection.
I would likely start this next year as the school year is almost over, but I would love to get a head start so I can start preparing.

Rainbow Book Fair

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC. Though I didn’t have a chance to read, I did hang out at the Bold Strokes Books table and met some amazing readers and other authors! I was thrilled to FINALLY meet Jeremy Jordan King, whose book, In Stone I loved. I also met YA author Nora Olsen whose novel Swans & Klons comes out next month.

I was thrilled to sell a copy of Andy Squared to one woman in particular. She is older and her grandson is in the sixth grade. This is my favorite story from the even, and possibly my favorite reader ever. She purchased a copy of my book after deciding she would buy it, and give it to her grandson as her way of coming out to him. She said she had waited too long to do it, and he should know.

I am so honored that she is using my book to do this. I wanted to sit behind the table and cry afterwards. I did not catch her name, as she wanted to personalize the book to him herself, but I wish her the best of luck and if I could meet her grandson, I’d tell him what an amazing grandmother he has.

Stay tuned later this week for a guest post by author Madison Parker whose new books, Play Me, I’m Yours has just come out through Harmony Ink Press!

New Site Events!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but I never got around to actually putting it in action. Soon I shall be putting the guest interview and blog page to good use! I’ve contacted some authors via Facebook or email and will be featuring some AMAZING authors that I love.

Look forward to it!

Meeting Chance – coming October 14, 2013!!

It’s official! Bold Strokes Books has given me the release date for my next novel, Meeting Chance. Take a look at the lovely cover art! I really like the colors and the silhouette in the background.
Release Date: October 14, 2013
More information as it becomes available! (Including the official blurb once it’s posted!)

Newtown Tragedy

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and I feel terrible for posting because of a tragedy, but I also feel that this is a post I must make.

I’m sure anyone viewing this page already knows this, but on December 14, 2012, there was a horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. A shooter got into the school and killed 20 students and 6 teachers. These were young children, babies really, none older than seven years old.

As a teacher who works in a K-8 school, I felt I needed to express my feelings. First towards the unexplainable violence shown against our society’s most vulnerable, and also towards the acts of heroism exhibited by the teachers who risked their lives to save those of their students.

As a teacher who lost a student last year, I know a bit of what the other teachers must feel like, however I know I do no understand the true enormity of the grief they must feel. I am not a parent, however, I do feel like a parent towards my students whom I refer to as my kids.

That someone would want to harm those who are so young and innocent bewilders me. It angers me. There is no sense in the act. Hundreds, if not thousands of lives are forever changed because of this.

As for the teachers, they truly are heroes. Too often we are told that we are overpaid and underworked. That our jobs end when we leave the school. But that is not the case. More and more this is becoming a dangerous profession where we are put at blame for falling test scores and problems that occur in the home. But at the same time it is an incredible job, and I consider myself lucky to be a teacher. There is no greater joy in finding a book a child loves to read and talking about it with them. Forging that connection with a student through the power of literature.

Though I’m not particularly religious, may God bless the little angels who have joined Him in Heaven, and the hero teachers who sacrificed their lives to save the children they were responsible for during the school day.