Friday, April 27, 2012 12 comments

Help me choose my author photo

Hey all!

So, I need your help! The time has come to turn in my author photo to my design team at Simon & Schuster (my super awesome designer is about to start working on my book cover!!!!) and I'm having some trouble choosing which to use. Soooo, here's where you come in! I've narrowed down four different photo styles, but need to choose one from each category. So, take a look and then vote for which you like in each of the four categories, in the polls over to the right.

Photo A1

Photo A2

Photo A3
Photo B1

Photo B2

Photo B3

Photo B4

Photo B5
Photo C1

Photo C2

Photo C3

Photo D1

Photo D2

Photo D3

So there are your choices....let me know which ones you like best. Vote to the right and your fave pic might just end up on the back of my book!

Monday, April 23, 2012 1 comments

Review Time....I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

by Brittany Geragotelis

Review Time: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

The Story:
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad? Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say. But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view. And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod. In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows? 
Why It's a Must-Read: I can honestly say that there are no books out there like I Hunt Killers. I'd probably describe it as Dexter for kids, though the main character isn't the one doing the killing. The premise is so intriguing and original, and thankfully, the author doesn't hold back where it counts. Often with violence-based books for teens, people are quick to try and pretty things up, so as not to offend anyone. I was so happy to see that Barry Lyga really went for it. And because of this, I really felt like we were getting an honest look at what it was really like for this character. What it was like to grow up with a serial killer as a father. This was one of the best books I've read in a long time!
What a Character: At first, I didn't connect with the book's main character, Jazz, and wondered if I was going to end up liking the book at all since I wasn't making that initial connection. But as I got a few chapters in, I realized that that was part of what's so special about the book--and the character. Jazz is supposed to have gone through something that (thankfully) none of us ever have to go through. Because of the way he's been raised and the things his dad has taught him about mortality and the value of life, Jazz has a very unique way of looking at the world. I don't think we're supposed to identify with him in this way. But his desire to be normal and have a normal life and him second-guessing himself? Those are all things we can understand. In the end, I loved Jazz and the way his mind worked. Is he a damaged character? Absolutely. But he's taking a bad situation and at least trying to make the most of it.

A Little Something Extra:
I am obsessed with serial killers. In a completely non-creepy sort of way, though. But really, I'm fascinated by these types of people: what makes them tick, what it is that causes someone to kill, the psychology behind it, etc. I also have a theory that most serial killers come from the Northwest (hello, Ted Bundy, The I-5 Killer, The Wanted Ad Killer, The Green River Killer, etc.), or at some point have lived there. Maybe it's something about the rain--some people just can't handle it! I, myself, had been interested in writing a story similar to this (focusing on the kids of serial killers), but after reading Lyga's novel, I feel like he's already done it so well, why mess with it? I would love to hear what kind of research he did on the subject and how he feels about the topic in general. My friend is actually Lyga's publicist over at Little Brown and I'm waiting for the day she'll introduce me to him...can you imagine the dinner conversation we'd have?

Follow him on Twitter @BarryLyga and then go out and buy his book!

Thursday, April 19, 2012 0 comments

Kris Jenner....And All Things Kardashian

by Brittany Geragotelis

The Story:
You think you know her . . . 
     On Keeping Up with the Kardashians, we watch Kris Jenner do it all. She runs a household, manages her children’s successful careers, produces four television shows featuring her larger-than-life family, and still finds time to tweet to her fans. How does she manage to maintain her composure, enviable elegance, and unflappable sense of humor? After raising six children of her own, in addition to being a stepmother to four and a grandmother, multitasking is Kris’s way of life. But she would have never made it without her unwavering belief in God. In this thoughtful, candid, and no-nonsense memoir, Kris Jenner is an open book about the good times and the rough patches.       
     If you think your life is chaotic, try keeping up with Kris Jenner.
Why It's a Must-Read: I'm Kardashian-obsessed, so I knew I had to pick up Kris' book when it came out--and I wasn't disappointed. The interesting thing about the book is that it's much less about "The Kardashians" and more about Kris' life leading up to the famous family we now know. In the book, we get an honest look at Kris as she grew up, her marriage to Robert Kardashian, her early years with Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob, the affair that eventually broke up her marriage and her relationship with OJ and Nicole Brown Simpson. That was one of the most intriguing parts of the book: learning about the friendship she and Robert (and later, she and Bruce) had with OJ and then what happened when Nicole was murdered. The book also answers the question so many haters have about her family--what are they famous for, anyway?
What a Character: After reading the book, you really begin to feel like you know Kris. And for someone who's created this phenomenal brand...well, I think we could all learn a lot from Kris Jenner.

A Little Something Extra: I've had the pleasure of meeting Kris on two separate occasions. First, when we went to the Jenner house to unveil Kendall's cover for American Cheerleader magazine, and another when the Kardashians went to cheer on Kendall and Kylie at their first cheerleading camp. I have to say....I was SO nervous to meet Kris the first time. I had nightmares for weeks that she was going to see Kendall's cover and hate it. She seems like such a momma bear and you can just tell she doesn't take crap from anyone (You'll see this in her book too. She's fiercely protective of her family). 
     But I can honestly say, Kris Jenner was so nice and sweet! She welcomed us into her home, was so gracious, kind and personable, and incredibly supportive of her kids! And at the same time, you can just tell she knows what she's doing. She runs the household like she runs her business. We had E! with us when we visited the house, and she knew exactly how to interact with the reporters and handled everything like a seasoned pro. It's hard not to admire what she's created, and I for one, could learn a lot by her business savvy and can-do attitude.

Follow her on Twitter @KrisJenner and then go out and buy her book!


The K Girls with Bruce!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 0 comments

Review Time: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

by Brittany Geragotelis

Review Time: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

The Story: In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived. The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.
     On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all... HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR?
Why It's a Must-Read: A lot of research went into writing The Survivors. Besides the fact that it's loosely based on the Salem Witch Trials, the author Amanda Havard, really delved into the history of all monsters, supernatural beings, etc., which for someone like me who's intrigued by creepy-crawlies, was really cool. On top of that, she's created a world that's rich with interesting characters, and the story itself is beautifully written. Fans of Twilight will LOVE The Survivors....It's a much more creative and complicated book, but it will give you the love story you crave, along with all the supernatural elements that you loved so much from Bella and Edward's world. 
What a Character: I really gravitated toward Sadie, our main character, because she's a strong-willed and independent woman. But on the flip-side, she's also desperately looking to make a connection. She's constantly on the search to find a place where she fits in, even though she knows that she's unlike anyone else in the world. And there's something about that that's incredibly endearing. I also really liked Mark and Ginny; Mark because of his easy-going attitude but fierce loyalty to Sadie, and Ginny because of her sweet and caring demeanor. But really, there are so many characters in this series that you're bound to connect with someone!
Amanda Havard
A Little Something Extra: I've known Amanda Havard for over a year now and she's such a smart and talented person! Something that you should know about her is that she has a very creative mind and won't back down from her lofty dreams. When she first began shopping around her book, The Survivors, she had very specific ideas in mind for it. She wanted to go places that books had never really gone before, and publishers were really hesitant to go there. But instead of giving up or giving in, she found a publisher that was willing to do everything she envisioned, and because of it, she's pushing the boundaries of storytelling. 
      Namely, she's created a totally Immersive experience for her readers. If you buy her Immersedition from iTunes, you'll get extras that you can't find anywhere else. In this edition, you'll get links to documented moments in history throughout the book, that will give you more background info on specific parts. Amanda created a book soundtrack, both with existing artists, as well as singers/songwriters that she signed to her own music label, created specifically for this project (Some of her signed artists have been on "Glee" and "The Voice"). Amanda is an avid music junkie and felt very strongly that music was just another dimension needed to accurately tell the story. 
       On top of that, you can check out the cars the characters drive, as well as the clothes they wore, watch music videos for the soundtrack and link straight to the Twitter accounts for most of the characters, which date back to two years before the book was released. The Survivors is a truly unique experience and one that I see books heading toward in the future. Oh, and I had the pleasure of writing a blurb for the sequel, so you KNOW it's gotta be good!

Follow her on Twitter @AmandaHavard and then go out and buy her book!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 0 comments

Book Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

by Brittany Geragotelis

Review Time: The List by Siobhan Vivian

The Story: An intense look at the rules of high school attraction--and the price that's paid for them. It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up. This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.
Why It's a Must-Read: The List is a realistic look at how difficult high school can be. For me, high school was torture. I was bullied, I never felt like I fit in and sometimes I think I still haven't gotten over it. The beauty of the story that Siobhan Vivian's created is that she shows that popular or unpopular, high school can be a tough time. Although it brought back memories of my own high school experience, I really felt like Siobhan lived this life...she never once tried to water down how horribly people can treat each other at this age.
What a Character: The interesting thing about The List is that it's told from the perspective of eight different characters. Four girls from the ugly list and four from the pretty list. And with so many personalities, you're bound to connect with one of them. I, myself, really liked Danielle DeMarco, who was also known as Dan the Man. She was such an innocent bystander and really just kept to herself...and that makes you want to root for her. She was also betrayed by the one she loved, and that just made me love her more!
Siobhan Vivian
A Little Something Extra: I had the pleasure of meeting Siobhan Vivian recently at a book reading she did at a Barnes & Noble and was struck by how upbeat and friendly she was. When she talked to me, she acted like we were old friends and like she was genuinely happy to meet me. Her voice in the book is super-fun and pretty reflective of her personality (from what I could tell). She's also co-writing another book series that's coming out in the Fall which starts with Burn for Burn and will being published by my publishers, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers! I'd keep my eye out for this's already getting a lot of buzz as one to put on your reading list!

Follow her on Twitter @SiobhanVivian and then go out and buy her book!

Monday, April 16, 2012 0 comments

Friday the 13th Fun

Hey all!

So, as most of you know, Friday the 13th is one of my fave holidays (and yes, it's considered a holiday in this household). And keeping up with the tradition, I threw a party for all of my friends--complete with scary-themed food and scary movies. We decided to watch Paranormal Activity 2 (Which actually turned out to be pretty cool. Not as scary as the first, but totally creepy.) while scarfing down a ton of food at the same time. Take a look at what I served:

Creating our scary appetizers

Severed arms before they went into the oven. The insides? Sauce, cheese and pepperoni!

Severed arms...look tasty?

Blood cake. I'd hate to go under that knife!

The Devil's Mac n' Cheese (buffalo chicken mac)

Um....why are there ghosts coming out of the severed balls and fingers?
Ryan and Matt discussing which movie is better: Pirhana 3D or Killer Klowns from Outer Space

My scream queens, Tammy, Gina and Siena!

A good time was had by boys and ghouls!

So, there you have great Friday the 13th party. What do you think? And what did you do to celebrate?

Thursday, April 12, 2012 0 comments

Unique Book Readings

by Brittany Geragotelis

Hey all!

I've been a bad, bad blogger.

I know, I know...I haven't gotten a blog out in a while...but I promise there's a good reason. For the past six weeks, I've been busy writing the prequel/spin-off to Life's a Witch, called What the Spell? Yep, you read that right. I only had six weeks to write the book! To pull off this incredible feat of creativity, I had to write about 10 pages a day, no days off. That meant no weekends, no breaks...just work. As you can probably imagine, it left no time for me to blog (thus the reason I had a guest blogger during this time).

And once I turned in my manuscript (yes, it's already done and in my editor's hot little fact, I should be getting notes and changes tomorrow! Squeal!), I crashed. Hard. So, for the last week and a half, I've been relaxing and taking a break from it all, before I have to get back to editing. Needless to say, I've been putting off writing of any kind. Except for Twitter. Because I'm now officially a Twitterphile.

Bottom line...sorry I haven't gotten you anything new in a while. Hopefully this will make up for it.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to go to a teen author reading at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square (NYC). I met one of the editors at Simon & Schuster's Books for Young Readers there (Shout-out to Amy Rosenbaum) and we geeked out over the authors in attendance. Now I've been to a few book readings, but this was something special. First of all, there were six really cool authors there (including Siobhan Vivian of "The List", Stephanie Perkins of "Lola & the Boy Next Door" and Corey Whaley of "Where Things Come Back").

Second, these entertaining authors took the readings to the next level by acting out scenes from their books. Everyone was such good sports while doing this and it really brought the stories alive in a totally different way than I've ever seen before. The whole thing was moderated by David Levithan, author of hits like "Boy Meets Boy" and "Will Grayson, Will Grayson", who was hilarious in his own right. Because of all these unique elements, fans were treated to a really cool, interactive and creative experience.

Luckily, I was able to snag a seat in the front and took some photos and video to relay back to all of you! Take a look, and then go and purchase your copies of their newest books!

The audience was mostly adults, despite the fact that it was YA panel. Goes to show you YA is expanding to all age groups!

David Levithan (left) and Corey Whaley (right)

Author Emily Danforth talked about her book, "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" (a story about a lesbian who is sent to a camp meant to cure her of her homosexuality).

From Left to Right: Andrea Cremer, Emily Danforth, Lucas Klauss (author of "Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse") & Stephanie Perkins

The crew acting out a scene by Siobhan Vivian's book, "The List"

David Levithan and Siobhan Vivian

Though you can't tell, this is David Levithan and Andrea Cremer doing the tango during a reading of her book "Nightshade"

 one can rock a red do quite like Stephanie Perkins. Right?

So, there are the photos....tomorrow, I'll post the videos!