Sunday, June 17, 2012 0 comments

Dad's Day

by Brittany Geragotelis

If you're like me, you're unable to be with your dad today on Father's Day. But that doesn't mean that you can't make him feel special (hopefully making up for the fact that you can't be there in the first place). What better way to do this by making a list of all the reasons your dad is awesome and then send it to him. He'll appreciate the thought you put into it and it will make him happy to know that you really WERE paying attention when he thought you were just ignoring him. And if you're having a tough time getting started, here's my list:
Me and Dad at a museum in NYC

Awesome Things About My Dad:
1. He's tall and could always reach the dishes in the cupboard that I couldn't get down.
2. He's always nice to my mom. Back when they first got married, he gave part of his savings to her so that she could start her own ballet studio.
3. He's always believed that I would become a published author one day...but also reminded me that I needed a day job until that happened.
Dad, Mom, Curtis & Jacey

4. He flew airplanes for years. Even though I'm a girl and didn't really think this was cool growing up, I've come to find out (from just about every guy alive) that this is, in fact, one of the coolest jobs someone can have. Hello, look how popular Top Gun was!
5. He buys me random books from the sales bin whenever he goes to a bookstore or the library.
6. He's a coffee drinker and appreciates a good cup whenever he can get it.
7. He thinks he's HILARIOUS and laughs at his own jokes.
8. He can't sing, but does it anyway.
9. He took me to the movies right after I had surgery on one of my feet...and got the manager to give me a chair to rest my foot on, with a pillow he'd brought from home, just so I'd be comfortable.
10. He sends me and my sisters little notes/stories/poems that he finds inspirational.
11. He's really passionate about golfing.
12. He's clever and even makes his own golf clubs.
Dad channeling Zoolander.
13. He can wake the dead with his sneezes.
14. He's smart and has several degrees.
15. He wants to be a writer one day and says he's going to follow in my footsteps.
16. He puts rice in his hair and then asks if he has "head rice."
The statue was NOT amused.
17. He and his navy friends have silly nicknames for each other. His is Germ.
18. He makes my mom laugh. His kids...well, we laugh at him, anyway.
19. He likes really ugly ties.
20. He falls asleep while watching TV and when you catch him, he swears he was awake the whole time but was just resting his eyes.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

What's so awesome about your dad? Leave your lists in the comments below!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 1 comments

Review Time...Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

by Brittany Geragotelis

The Story: Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

Why It's a Must-Read: I'm not one for sappy stories. I tend to gravitate toward strong, kick-ass female characters who don't mope around, but whose lives are totally complicated. The idea of a regular girl dealing with the grief over losing her father wouldn't typically sound like something I'd pick up. BUT, after hearing from several people that Amy & Roger's was a great read, I decided to be open minded and give it a try.

And I'm so glad that I did! First off, the story wasn't sappy at all. Sad at times, sure, but not at all whiny or depressing. Instead, it was more like an adventure--with heart. Since the story takes place on a trip across country, the reader gets all the fun of a road trip, minus the sore butt from sitting in the car for hours and hours. And though a lot of time is spent in the car, the action actually happens mostly when Amy and Roger stop at their intended destinations. In the end, the story's about overcoming adversity and dealing with life on life's terms. Beautifully written and never boring, this book is the perfect summer read!

What a Character: The main character, Amy is broken at the beginning of the book. She's full of fear, guilt and self-loathing over what's happened to her family. There's no one else in her world that could punish her more than she's punishing herself. And then her answer appears: Roger. Roger is such a great character. Cute, total boy next door and a little too nice for his own good. He challenges Amy just enough to make her grow, but is the soft touch she needs to feel safe enough to do so. Together, the two of them deal with their issues and become the perfect traveling companions. I also loved all the other characters Amy and Roger met along the way (Bronwyn, Walcott and Lucien)...they each helped her heal in their own ways, and make the reader wish that all strangers were that cool.

A Little Something Extra: I have a confession to make: I mostly picked up Amy & Roger's because my editor, Alex, edited Morgan's book, too! After reading it, I'm not at all surprised she wanted to work with Morgan and her story! The funny thing? One of the characters in this book shared the same first name as the main character in my book, Life's a Witch. I thought Hadley was a pretty unique name, so I was surprised to see we both chose the same name!

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

Monday, June 11, 2012 0 comments

Review Time....Hiding From Reality by Taylor Armstrong

by Brittany Geragotelis

The Story: NOT EVERY FAIRY TALE HAS A HAPPY ENDING. . . . Reality hit Taylor Armstrong hard one tragic evening last August when she found the body of her estranged husband, Russell, hanging in his California home. Fans across the country were shocked at the horrific news of his death and even more shocked to discover that behind the glittering “reality” of Taylor’s life on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills lurked a painful story of emotional and physical abuse that she had been terrified to tell.

With searing honesty, Taylor candidly examines her difficult journey from the abusive home in which she was born to the low self-esteem that kept her constantly on the run from herself, to the tumultuous marriage that ended in suicide, and ultimately to her realization that only by sharing her moving story could she help other women.

Taylor and her husband Russell Armstrong. In her book, Taylor discusses the events that led up to Russell's shocking suicide.
Why It's a Must-Read: The first "Real Housewives" that I fell in love with was the cast from Beverly Hills. I found them to be the most entertaining and interesting, and was happy that there weren't any physical fights (I'm looking at you Jersey cast). I was always fascinated with Taylor Armstrong, the beautiful yet tiny woman who was married with a young daughter. As I watched the seasons progress, it became increasingly clear that she was in an abusive relationship. And then when the news broke that her husband, Russell, had committed suicide....well, my desire to read Taylor's book to hear the real story grew. 

What you get through reading Taylor's book is what seems like an honest look at what it's like to be in an abusive relationship. You could feel her heartache and hopelessness throughout, and even begin to understand what she was going through. It didn't feel like Taylor had written the book with the intentions of making her ex out to be a villain. In fact, considering everything she went through, one wouldn't blame her if she had been a little more one-sided in her recollections. But that's not what Hiding From Reality is about. Domestic abuse is a problem and I've known a few people who have been in similar dangerous situations themselves, and I found the book to be helpful in trying to begin to understand what it's like to be stuck in a situation like this. It's well-written, honest and harrowing.

What a Character: Like I said before...I was always a fan of Taylor. And when we began to discover the abuse she was dealing with, I felt for her. The book actually gave a much more detailed look at her life growing up--what led her to look for men who were either unavailable or not right for her, why she gravitated toward unhealthy relationships and how she made it to Beverly Hills and onto the show. Though it's difficult to understand why a person would stay with a man who beats her and belittles her, the book really does try to explain the complicated feelings that are involved in an abusive relationship. In the end, the reader is left with hope. Hope that those who are in these kinds of situations may get out of them (alive) and that they can (hopefully) stop the cycle of abuse.

A Little Something Extra: Amidst the seriousness of her memoir, I was psyched to hear that Taylor was a cheerleader growing up and that she was even a staff instructor for the organization NCA (National Cheerleaders Association), which was coincidentally, the same cheer group that I taught for for five years! (Fun Fact: Another "Desperate Housewife" that called herself a NCA staff instructor? Eva Longoria!) And if I know cheerleaders, I know that they're strong and they can persevere through any tough times. I have high hopes that Taylor will end up on top.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 2 comments

A weekend of writers

by Brittany Geragotelis

So, this past weekend was pretty incredible. Busy, but incredible. I was honored to be asked to speak at two different events: one for Wattpad and the other for UPublishU at BEA. And both turned out to be pretty darn amazing.

First, on Saturday, I went down to a loft in Soho to meet up with about 60 Wattpadders. Writers, readers, aspiring authors...they were all there. And everyone was PSYCHED to be there. There was good food, awesome freebies (the t-shirts were soooo comfortable) and great conversation. I had so much fun telling everyone about my experience on Wattpad and how it led to me getting my 3-book deal with Simon & Schuster! And I think the teens who were there to see us, were inspired. I even got to sign some autographs, take pictures with my fans and make a few new friends! It was an awesome time. Check out the pics below!

Then, on Sunday, I was off to the Javits Center in NYC for a conference put on by BEA (Book Expo of America) called UPublishU, which was all about self-publishing. Since this is where I got my start--first on Wattpad, and then through publishing my book in paperback--I especially loved talking to aspiring authors about my writing journey. The panel I was on was full of some pretty impressive authors: Darcie Chan (author of The Mill River Recluse), C.S. Marks (author of the Elfhunter Trilogy) and Theresa Ragan (author of Return of the Rose). And everyone's stories were so inspiring! We had about 250 people in the room when we spoke and were grilled by aspiring authors afterward. It was so incredible to be in a room full of people who all love the same thing: writing! Take a look at the pics I snapped while there.

All in all, it was a busy yet incredible two days full of inspiration, hope, amazing people and great books!

Friday, June 1, 2012 0 comments

Come out and meet me!

by Brittany Geragotelis

Hey all!

Soooo, I've been hard at work on the first revision of my book, What the Spell?, and it's finally in to my editor! Phew! But really, it was such a great experience! I got to see all the things I could do to make the book better and it was actually a fun process. No joke.

So now, I'm just waiting for my second round of notes, which will hopefully just be minor stuff and not overall story-arc stuff. In the meantime, I'm getting the chance to go out and interact with some of my fans and hopefully pick up a few more!

Now, if you know me, you know that I'm not all that comfortable with public speaking. Usually I start to feel sick, faint and possibly like I might die before I have to talk in front of people. Suddenly I forget the most simple words and my face starts to shake. And the sweat....oh the sweat! Hahaha. I'm a mess!

But I've discovered that when I'm speaking on a panel and talking about writing, books and the projects I'm working on, it's not so bad. In fact, I usually have a lot of fun! Sure, I still get a little nervous, but there's something about talking about the things that you love, that make it OK. Sooooo, with that said, this weekend, I have the pleasure of speaking to two amazing groups of people about my writing experiences!

First, on Saturday, I'm going to be speaking at a Wattpad Meetup at 2pm in NYC. The meetup is meant to bring Wattpadders together for a little fun. While there, I'll be speaking to the crowd on my experience with Wattpad, how it helped me to reach my goal of becoming a published author as well as how important it is to support each other by buying more books. Since my fanbase started out on Wattpad, I can't wait to meet some of my fans in person! Fellow Wattpad writer, Caitlin Duffy will also be there, talking about her own success story. If you're interested in coming, here's the info.

Next, I'll be speaking on a panel at UPublishU at BEA (Book Expo of America). I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this group of authors talking about their successes with self-publishing. There are some other great panelists and I think it will be incredibly inspiring to any aspiring authors. And being that it's attached to BEA....well, I feel like I've hit the big time! To find out how to register for the day, who else is on my panel and the other discussions that will be happening throughout the day, check out the site here.

So if you live in or around NYC, please stop by! I'd love to meet you!