Friday, September 28, 2012 2 comments

Disney Daze

by Brittany Geragotelis

Last weekend I took my whole family down to Disneyland. It was sort of my superbowl moment. You know, those old Disney ads where they'd ask athletes what they were going to do now that they'd accomplished some amazing feat, and they answered, "I'm going to Disneyland!!!" My book deal was my superbowl moment, and I couldn't think of a better way of celebrating than taking my family to the happiest place on earth.

So, me, Matty, my parents John and Diane, my youngest sister Jacey, and my middle sister Amy, along with her husband Cody and my nephew Cash, all headed from our respective cities to Anaheim for the weekend. Our family's always been huge Disney fans....I've gone to one park or another at least once a year since I was a little kid. My mom runs from one ride to the next and pumps everyone up. This was also my nephew's first time at Disney, so it was really special to be able to be with him.

In the end, though we certainly had our grumpy moments (lots of running around, heat and little sleep can do that), I think we all made some wonderful memories. Here are a few that I was able to catch on camera. Enjoy!

Amy at the character breakfast
From Top Left to Bottom Right: Cody, Matt and I. None of us were ready for the camera on Space Mountain
Most of the time Cash hid from the characters. He was not pleased.
There WAS a bit of mid-day napping for at least one of us....
Jacey was embarrassed that this character hadn't remembered to put pants on that morning.
Jacey giving us her best "pizza face" while eating at Naples Restaurant
Can you blame him for being scared?
The Haunted Mansion was decorated in Nightmare Before Christmas style. It was AWESOME!
Jacey likes big butts and she cannot lie....
Amy just told her a secret....guess what it was?!?!
What a flirt!
The happy family: Amy, Cash and Cody
We were dying when we saw this pic of us on Splash Mountain. And look at Jacey. She made this face on EVERY ride that took a photo. It was hilarious!
....See what I mean?...
And again...
You can even see her in the back left of this one...
So we tried it....though I'm not sure we pulled it off.
All in all, it was a really great vacation full of magic, fun and lots of laughs!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 0 comments

Review Time: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

by Brittany Geragotelis

Review Time: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

The Story: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

How cute is Mindy Kaling?

Why It's a Must-Read: I've always been a fan of the show, "The Office." Besides the fact that there's weirdo Dwight, boy-next-door Jim, and hopelessly loveable Michael--there are some wickedly hilarious women in the cast. And heading up these smart and funny gals is Mindy Kaling. Besides playing the self-absorbed and girlie Kelly Kapoor, Mindy is also one of the head writers of the show.

So, this means that literally every word of Mindy's debut novel, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is gut-wrenchingly funny. Seriously. Every. Single. Word. From her introduction to the chapter titles, the book had me laughing (and yes, it was out loud) and reading my favorite lines to my boyfriend (who just wanted to sit there in peace and peruse reddit). In this cheery memoir, fans will find out exactly where Mindy came from and what brought her to where she is today: a huge success.

Mindy's funny AND sexy (oh, and don't forget smart!)

What a Character: Like I've mentioned about a billion times, Mindy is freaking hilarious! But not just that, she's also smart and is one of those amazing women who've managed to infiltrate the old boy's club of comedy and turned it inside out. And as a person, she's totally likeable, because she has an intense love for her girlfriends. You're not going to see her screw her BFF over so she can go out and see a guy. So, she's funny, smart AND loyal....everything you want in a new friend. And that's exactly how you're going to feel after reading this book.

Who doesn't like nerdy, embarrassing kid photos of celebs?
A Little Something Extra: Besides the stories in the book, Mindy also regales us with awesomely embarrassing photos of herself as a kid! And as a college student. And an early professional. There's just so much to Mindy that I didn't know before and I'm so glad that I picked up this book. It was well-worth the read!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 0 comments

Video Time: A few books you HAVE to read

by Brittany Geragotelis

Hey all! I just posted my latest video on my YouTube channel, all about the books you just HAVE to pick up today. Seriously....put down whatever you're doing and check them out. It'll totally be worth it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1 comments

Indie Authors Find Their Voice

by Brittany Geragotelis

Before I got my publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, I was an indie author. I'd been rejected by the traditional publishing world over the course of nine years and decided to regroup and commence on a new writing journey--one where I wasn't going to wait for the gatekeepers to tell me I was worthy of publishing. So, I started publishing a book, Life's a Witch, on the writing community site, Wattpad, and over the course of a year, racked up about 19 million reads of the book. It was only because of the requests I got from fans, that I decided to self-publish LAW. The book was only available for about a month before I signed with Simon & Schuster.

I have a huge respect for indie authors. Writers who've decided to take their careers into their own hands (whatever that reason may be) and are willing to put the time into bringing their works to the masses are incredibly inspiring. And even though I am now with a traditional publisher (and an awesome one at that), I think there's a place in the world for both types of authors.

However, just because it's becoming easier and easier for indie authors to self-publish, it doesn't mean that they have the same opportunities that traditionally published authors do. One common roadblock is that it's really difficult to find events where self-published authors can showcase their work.

Until now.

Enter Authors Unbound. The organization was started by Lynn Messina and Ariella Papa after they became so frustrated with the lack of events out there for indie authors to showcase their work and connect with fans that they took matters into their own hands.

It's this kind of take-charge attitude and passion for books that makes me so honored to be a part of its next event! So, if you're over the age of 21 and want to hear me read from my upcoming debut novel, What the Spell?, please be sure to RSVP! Here are the deets:

When: Tuesday, October 9
Time: 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Where: The Duplex
Address: 61 Christopher St @ 7th Ave
Who: You can listen to readings by myself, Lynn, Ariella and Frank Anthony Polito. We'll also be discussing e-publishing and the panel will be moderated by Amy Edelman, the editor of Indie Reader
411: The event is free, but there IS a 2-drink minimum to all who attend
RSVP: You must RSVP here if you plan on attending (and you should!)

So, please, come on out and help support indie authors, have a few drinks and enjoy a bit of inspirational conversation at the same time!

Hope to see you there!


Friday, September 14, 2012 0 comments

Exclusive Excerpt of What the Spell?!

by Brittany Geragotelis

There's nothing I love more than a good book. Well, except maybe a freebie. So, I decided to put the two together and give you all an exclusive excerpt of my upcoming debut novel, What the Spell? over on Wattpad! I'm beyond excited for you all to read it and want to hear what you think!

And don't forget...if you like what you read, be sure to PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY today!


Thursday, September 13, 2012 1 comments

My book cover makeover!

by Brittany Geragotelis

Have I got something cool to share with you! At the beginning of my book, What the Spell?, my main character Brooklyn feels like nobody notices her. So, to remedy her "plainness", the twitch (teen witch) gives herself a magical makeover.

Well, in an example of life imitating art, we decided to do the same thing with What the Spell?! The truth is, the original cover we had was beautiful. The model was gorgeous and I loved the simplicity of it. BUT we knew we could kick things up a notch and make WTS? something truly magical.

So, my team at S&S worked their own magic and created the cover you're seeing on my site now! I think there's something so dynamic and energetic about the new cover. I love the colors, LOVE the magic flying off her fingertips and how it still has a bit of playfulness to it. I'd call this a makeover success.

What do you think of the new cover?


P.S. IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, be sure to pre-order your copy of What the Spell? today!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2 comments

Celebrity Whore

by Brittany Geragotelis

Last night I ran into a celebrity. It wasn't one of those sightings where you spy that star from your fave show on the street while he's walking by in his unassuming outfit, all scruffy, with his eyes hidden behind a darkened pair of sunglasses and drinking an iced green tea from the Bux. Where you Tweet about them as soon as they've gotten far enough away from you that you can pull out your phone descreetly. Hell, maybe you don't care about decorum at all and you whip your phone out right in front of him and snap a quick pic before he can get away. No, this was different.

It was different because I know this person.

Now, we're not besties or anything, but this starlet, let's call her Penelope (and no this isn't even remotely a clue to her real name, so don't even start guessing. You won't get it, I promise), runs in the same circle of friends as me. We don't hang out, but I see her every once in a while, which is way cool--

--at least it would be if I didn't turn into a blithering idiot every time I talked to her.

For most people, this reaction would be understandable. Most people don't regularly find themselves standing face to face with celebrities. But me....this type of reaction is unacceptable. Because the truth is, for 10 years it was my job to do just this.

As an editor at American Cheerleader, I interviewed celebs like Miley Cyrus, Dakota Fanning, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Tisdale, Ashley Greene, Ashley Benson (there were lots of Ashley's), Debby Ryan and even Jamie Foxx. And being the celebrity-obsessed person I am, I was nervous to talk to each and every one of them. But I always pulled it together long enough to make a good impression and get a great interview, before going and freaking out in private.

So, why is it that every time I get around Penelope, I feel like such a loser? Suddenly, I start saying the stupidest things, ask the dumbest questions, get all tongue-tied and revert back to the uncomfortable nerd I was in high school.

It could have something to do with the fact that I'm not actually interviewing Penelope. See, when I was interviewing the other celebs, both of us were there to do a job. It was my job to ask a slew of questions that would allow our readers to feel like they got a chance to have a peek into that person's real life. And of course, it was the star's job to put forth the image they wanted their brand to reflect as well as highlight whatever project they were working on at the time. Neither of us was being ourselves...not really. We were both playing our roles, being on our best behavior. And that's what trips me up about my encounters with Penelope. My role becomes...just me. And just me is someone who geeks out when she meets celebrities. Just me is someone who cares what creative people that I admire think about me. Just me is self-conscious and not always polished and still that nerd in a lot of ways. Just me isn't always calm, cool and collected.

And if I'm really honest with myself, if Penelope wasn't famous, I have to wonder whether I'd really even care what she thought about me. The answer is: probably not.

So, what I realized about last night is that I need to start embracing my real self. And if someone doesn't like who that is, that's fine. Because the truth is....she's pretty cool, too.

Monday, September 10, 2012 0 comments

Almost Famous--Who needs sleep?

by Brittany Geragotelis

Just a quick message to let you know that I've released a new author video on my YouTube channel! Yes, I're probably asking yourself, "How does she possibly have time to tape another video when she's in the middle of writing books, keeping up with this blog, planning a book trailer shoot, brainstorming for makeover tutorials, reading Amanda Hocking's book, taking care of my kitties, saving the world from boredom AND being otherwise fabulous?" Okay, maybe the fabulous part is going a little too far, but I'm sure you were thinking the other stuff.

Well, the answer is: you make time for the things that are important to you.

And no sleep....very little sleep. So, do a girl a favor and check out my latest video. I worked hard on it, just for you!


Friday, September 7, 2012 0 comments

Review Time: The Truth about Medium

by Brittany Geragotelis

Review Time: The Truth About Medium by Gary E. Schwartz

The Story: Every Monday night millions of Americans tuned into Medium, NBC's hit drama featuring Allison DuBois, an ordinary woman who helps police solve baffling crimes through her ability to communicate with the dead. What most don't know is that this fictional character is based on a true-life medium named Allison DuBois, who is a consultant to the show. For four years, DuBois was the subject of rigorous scientific experiments conducted at the University of Arizona by Harvard-trained psychologist Gary Schwartz. The Truth about Medium chronicles many of those experiments as well as the real-life cases Allison has worked on and reveals hard laboratory evidence that psychic ability and mediumship are real.
The REAL Allison Dubois with Patricia Arquette, who played her in the show, "Medium"
Why It's a Must-Read: It's no surprise to those who know me that I'm a bit obsessed with psychics and matters of the spiritual realm. Sometimes I think my dreams are prophetic and I absolutely believe that there are people out there who have the gift to speak to the dead as well as know what will happen in the future. I think some of us are just more intuitive than others. Allison Dubois appears to be one of those people. I was a huge fan of the show when it was on and have read all of the (real life) Allison Dubois' books. I think the cool thing about Gary's books is that they're all rooted in factual evidence. Now, I'm already open to the possibility that people have these gifts, so I don't need to be convinced. But I know lots of people who are less-inclined to think this way (my boyfriend for instance). So, I really liked this book, because Gary talks about the actual scientific evidence that mediumship exists. The ways that he and his staff conduct these tests and the results that they find are all very interesting and worth reading about.
Author and experimenter, Gary E. Schwartz
What a Character: Now, because this is non-fiction, the characters in the book are real people, but no less fascinating. It's worth mentioning that Gary is first and foremost a scientist. In fact, I would venture to say he's a bit of a skeptic about things like psychic abilities and mediumship...until the facts reveal themselves. I think this actually makes for much more honest experiments. He's simply out for the truth and has dedicated his life to finding it--whatever that may be. 

And of course, the book is full of information on highly accredited psychics/mediums such as Allison Dubois, Laurie Campbell, Janet Mayer, Debbie Martin, John Edward, Suzanne Northrop, Sally Owen and Mary Occhino. Gary touches on some more than others, but it's all really intriguing to see who has scientifically been proven to be able to do the things they claim to be able to do.

Famous medium Allison Dubois
A Little Something Extra: This isn't really about the book, but if you're looking for a little bit of drama to go along with this fantastic read, be sure to check out this insanely wicked episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" where Camille Grammar invites Allison Dubois to a dinner party she's having. Let's just say, spirits were running a bit high through the dinner and everyone got more than they bargained for!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 0 comments

Event updates!!!

by Brittany Geragotelis

Come and meet me in person!

While I wait on my notes for Life's a Witch, I've been spending a lot of time doing all the stuff I can't do when I'm actively writing. One of those things has been updating my site, including the EVENTS section! And can I just say...I've got a lot of exciting stuff coming up! give you an idea of what I'm going to be up to and how you can meet up with me in person (and snag my latest books! Eeeeek!), check out my updated events section here.

Hope you're all doing well and I can't wait to see everyone!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 0 comments

Review Time: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

by Brittany Geragotelis

The Story: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.
Why It's a Must-Read: It's been a long, long time since I read a book that gripped me in the way that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer did. But let me start by saying: I LOVE scary movies. I throw whole parties dedicated to watching horror films. And this was the first book I've read that's been scarier than most of the horror films that are out on the market nowadays. But I wouldn't describe The Unbecoming as horror. We're not looking at a Stephen King book, here, where there's a deranged killer clown stalking kids. I would classify this as more of a psychological of those stories where you're constantly wondering if she did what she thinks she might have done or whether it was all in her head. Either way, the book is addictive and nearly impossible to put down once you pick it up. It was terrifyingly beautiful.
Okay, how GORGE is Michelle?!?!

What a Character: I love, love, LOVE the sassiness of Mara Dyer. Despite what's going on in her life and in her head (she sometimes sees dead people and is suffering from PTSD), to the outside world she's quick-witted and isn't a fool. But even though she's tough on the outside, on the inside she's barely hanging on. I love a character who's damaged. Call me crazy, but I think they're more interesting. And it takes a lot of energy for someone to act as if her world isn't crumbling down around her, just to make others feel better.

And if I felt a kinship with Mara Dyer, I wanted to have a secret love affair with Noah Shaw. At first he appears to be the ultimate bad boy. Achingly beautiful with an ego to match. But as the story goes on, we find out there's so much more to him than we thought. And this is one of those stories where the bad boy IS attainable. Thank gosh, because he's H-O-T and the perfect match for Mara's razor-sharp wit.

A Little Something Extra: I picked up this book, after an author friend of mine, Amanda Havard, told me about it at BEA. She was saying how she couldn't wait for Michelle Hodkin's follow-up to The Unbecoming, called The Evolution of Mara Dyer. And now that I've read the first, I have to agree. Good thing we won't have to wait too long for it--The Evolution will begin on October 23rd. You can pre-order it here. I think I may have found one more person to add to my list of favorite authors....

Be sure to follow her on Twitter @MichelleHodkin and then go out and buy her books!