You guys have NO idea how excited I am by this one… have been for quite a while. So of course, the week I’m supposed to load it, I have a massive remodeling project going on. Luckily, this one is definitely worth waiting for and even more luckily, I think Jenn will forgive me, since I love her writing so very, very much.

Anyhow, without further ado, this week’s tour: LOVE STORY.

From Jennifer Echols, the award-winning author of Going Too Far and Forget You, comes LOVE STORY(Gallery Books; July 19, 2011; $11.00), a provocative and powerful story of teen romance, set against the bustling world of a New York City university.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.

“A tremendously talented writer with a real gift for developing relationships.”
– Romantic Times Magazine

So now, for a little more about Jenn…

Dark or milk chocolate? Milk!
Thin or thick crust pizza? Thin!
Lakes or oceans? Both! Heaven.
Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen Dazs? Häagen Dazs.
Lady Gaga or Katy Perry? (If neither, then who?) Katy Perry. Hilarious.
GLEE or Vampire Diaries? (Or whatever show currently has your fancy) Mythbusters. (Barb’s note: You and my kids would get along great. They have talking Adam & Jamie bobble head dolls.)
Ten or Eleven? (For the Doctor Who fans– if you’re not one, then has there ever been a show or film or book that turned you into a hardcore fan?) X-Files. I was an X-Phile back in the day.
Coke or Pepsi? Diet either.
Growing up, astronaut or supermodel? Astronaut. Our family togetherness TV program was Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.”

Final question: If your book had a theme song, what would it be?
“The Only Exception” by Paramore.

Thank you, Jenn!

JENNIFER ECHOLS is the author of teen romantic dramas for MTV Books and teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Please visit her online at


Such great, great things going on with my friend Melissa– her wonderful book, SMALL TOWN SINNERS has gotten great press, including a review from the New York Times! (SQUEE!)

Seriously, this is one you want to go check out, because it’s that rarest of things: a fantastic contemporary novel that is both relevant right now and will endure and become timeless.


“A devilishly good read.” —Lauren Myracle, NY Times bestselling author of Shine


New York (Winter 2011)— Inspired by an article on Hell Houses (haunted houses of sin) she wrote for ELLEgirl magazine, journalist Melissa Walker set out to delve deeper into the culture of this phenomenon, as well as the community that creates them. The result: Small Town Sinners (July), a universal story of first love and finding your voice set against the backdrop of extreme religion. This thought-provoking, touching story of faith in family, friends and self will have readers endlessly talking about and sharing this break-out novel.

“I was so intrigued by the small town I traveled to and the warmth of all the teenagers I met, plus their obvious passion for this production, that I had to revisit that world,” said Walker.

Hell Houses are often run by fundamentalist Christian churches and emphasize the belief that anyone who does not accept Christ as their personal savior is condemned to Hell. The way they often work is that a script is written covering a variety of sins each of which is performed within its own vignette in its own room in the house. A guide leads the visitors through each room acting as narrator. The performances have a controversial tone focusing on issues such as abortion, suicide, drinking and drug use, premarital sex, and homosexuality. Hell Houses usually take place in the fall.

Small Town Sinners is the story of Lacey Anne, daughter of the pastor and perennial good girl, who is eligible for a lead role in the season’s Hell House production—a role she’s been coveting for years. But when Ty moves to town as casting begins, a new perspective is added to Lacey Anne’s world and she starts to see her tight-knit, Evangelical community in a different light. With the help of her two best friends Starla Joy and Dean, and her potential first love Ty, Lacey Anne begins exploring her own thoughts and feelings about her religion, her community, and her place within both. While this novel deals with provocative issues like religion, teen pregnancy and underage drinking, it is not an “issue” book; the topics are masterfully interwoven into this story of friendship and family.

Early readers agree:

“Small Town Sinners shines a light on the fascinating world of the teenage Hell House. Sit back and let Melissa Walker be your guide. She writes without a shred of judgment and plenty of heart.” —Dana Reinhardt, author of A Brief Chapter of My Impossible Life

“Walker is sympathetic and respectful of her characters’ faith, while putting on display the shocking extremist scare tactics that make Hell Houses, well, hellish.” —Donna Freitas, author of This Gorgeous Game and The Possibilities of Sainthood.

“A non-judgmental, nuanced, fascinating look at the teenage religious right… Walker writes an outstanding contemporary novel with a cast of characters who, far from being portrayed as hateful zealots, are relatable for readers of all faiths. The extremism of Hell House is tempered by the perfectly understandable attitudes and intentions of Lacey Anne, who struggles with what it means to grow up, to question and to think for herself.” –Romantic Times

“Both tender and provocative… Walker creates an astutely balanced portrait of a conservative congregation’s in-your-face response to perennial issues of domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as of those who struggle to fit the prescribed Christian mold.” –Publishers Weekly

“This secular story about religious people could easily devolve into camp mockery, but because Walker takes her character’s crisis of faith seriously and sensitively, readers will, too.” –Kirkus Reviews

MELISSA WALKER: Melissa has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of the Violet on the Runway series as well as Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens.

Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit- Laurie Faria Stolarz

Once again, my brain abandoned me. I seriously thought I had set this to auto-post last week. Instead, when I (finally) realized it hadn’t, I came and checked and discovered I’d set it to auto-post for the right date… next year.


Anyhow, I’ve fixed it now. Please help me welcome the amazingly talented Laurie Faria Stolarz with her new release, DEADLY LITTLE GAMES

About the book:

High school juniors Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: they both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to see the future through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control. Camelia’s gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn’t yet comprehend. Before either one has a chance to fully grasp their abilities, a new danger surfaces, but this time, Camelia is not the target. Adam, a familiar face from Ben’s past, is drawn into a puzzle he can’t solve. . . and his life is on the line. As the clues pile up, Camelia must decide whether to help him and risk losing Ben or do nothing and suffer the consequences. But in these games,who can be trusted?


With only a few minutes of class remaining, I close my eyes again, still picturing Adam’s mouth. I try to imagine what he would say if he knew what I was doing. Would he suspect that I was interested in him? Would he think it was weird that I remember so much detail about the moment that night inside his car? Would he tell Ben what I was up to? I take a deep breath and try my best to focus on the answers. But the only words that flash across my mind, the ones I can’t seem to shake, don’t even address the questions at all. “You deserve to die,” I whisper, suddenly realizing that I’ve said the words aloud.

Check out the book trailers:


From Laurie: “In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE GAMES, I’ve launched a very exciting contest. You will need to read a copy of DEADLY LITTLE GAMES to enter. Prizes include having a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, the fourth book in the TOUCH series, named after him or her, or a phone call from me. OFFICIAL RULES for this contest are on my website, under NEWS. ALL ENTRANTS MUST SIGN A RELEASE FORM, DOWNLOADABLE FROM http://WWW.LAURIESTOLARZ.COM/NEWS.html. Sign up for my e-Newsletter for updates on contest, book, and appearance info:”

About the author:

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series, which has sold nearly 750,000 copies worldwide. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures

Favorite snack: Popcorn with soy butter, salt, and garlic powder.

Touristy Trip: Paris (lived there), the south of France (been there), Stockholm (almost went there and want to go), Maui (really want to go).

Fashion addiction (at the moment): Gap Long & Lean jeans, Ugg crochet boots (not Cardy, just the regular knit), Michael Stars tops.

Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form – the darker the better.

Fast food: French fries at least once every couple of months (even better when dipped in vegan tartar sauce).

Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.

Late-Night TV: The Hills (so sad it’s over), The City, Real Housewives of (wherever), and The Real World.

Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.

Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).

Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Peet’s or Starbucks.

Ultimate Splurge: Giuliano’s Day Spa for a massage and soft-pack wrap treatment, oxygen facials, and spray-tanning (in summer only).

(I like the way she thinks…)

Other Random Info

Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.

Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci’s.
Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.

Favorite Music: Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.

Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking

Which leads right into my little series of questions…

Dark or milk chocolate? Very dark.

Thin or thick crust pizza? Thin.

Lakes or oceans? Oceans.

Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen Dazs? Neither. I actually don’t eat ice cream.

Lady Gaga or Katy Perry? (If neither, then who?) Lady Gaga.

GLEE or Vampire Diaries? (Or whatever show currently has your fancy) I love reality TV. I’m currently really into Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Millionaire Matchmaker.

Ten or Eleven? (For the Doctor Who fans– if you’re not one, then has there ever been a show or film or book that turned you into a hardcore fan?) I used to be a hardcore fan of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original version).

Coke or Pepsi? Neither. Poland Springs sparkling water (with raspberry zest).

Growing up, astronaut or supermodel? Neither. I wanted to be a writer (pretty lucky, right?).

Definitely lucky, especially for all your readers! Thanks for stopping by, Laurie!

Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit: Eileen Cook!

It’s a new year and I promise to get back to some sort of semi-regular blogging soon, but in the meantime how about a new GCC tour? Today we welcome the fabulous Eileen Cook to celebrate her new release, The Education of Hailey Kendrick.

About the book:

Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what’s expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way…and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.

Suddenly, Hailey’s perfect life–and her reputation–are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don’t trust her. Her boyfriend won’t even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she’s been dumped.

They say honesty is the best policy–but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?


“Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she’s clueless. She’s also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it’s chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat.” –Kirkus starred review

“Cook effectively builds both Hailey’s (justified) feelings of rebellion and the social dynamics of her ostracism, especially in her growing friendship with a challenging townie, Drew, who supervises her punishment working with the janitorial staff….Cook coaxes considerable empathy for the otherwise privileged Hailey as she abandons the achievement treadmill to explore her independence.” –Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Now, for the questions I had for my lovely:

Dark or milk chocolate?

Dark. The higher the cocoa factor the happier I am.

Thin or thick crust pizza?

Thin crust with stinky cheese like Gorgonzola on it.

Lakes or oceans?

I absolutely love being near the water. I grew up on Lake Michigan and now live on the West Coast. It is possible I was a porpoise in another life. If I have to pick one I would go with ocean.

Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen Dazs?

Are you kidding? It’s ice cream. Who says no to ice cream? Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip is my all time favorite.

Lady Gaga or Katy Perry? (If neither, then who?)

I like both, but tend to be more of jazz favorite. (Oh, a girl so after my own heart!)

GLEE or Vampire Diaries? (Or whatever show currently has your fancy)

Love Glee. Love it. Also a big fan of The Walking Dead. Unlike many things in my life I feel strangely well-prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

Ten or Eleven? (For the Doctor Who fans– if you’re not one, then has there ever been a show or film or book that turned you into a hardcore fan?)

Liked Dr. Who, but wasn’t a hard core fan. Now Buffy is another story.

Well, then, Spike or Angel?

Spike. Oh yes indeed.

Coke or Pepsi?

Diet Coke, if I’m feeling fancy- a lime wedge.

Growing up, astronaut or supermodel?

Considering I didn’t understand that astronomy and astrology were different things, astronaut is out. My terminal clumsiness and lack of fashion sense also render supermodel a non-option. I did like the idea of being an actress.

Final question: If your book had a theme song, what would it be?

Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked.

Seriously, I think we were separated at birth or something. Now go forth and purchase!

Back to being part of the GCC! Touring Denise Jaden

Where GCC stands for the Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit blog tour.

I was part of it a few years back, but then went things slowed down for me, I gave my spot up so others could have their turn. But now I’m BAAAAAACK, baby! And I’m touring my first Girlfriend, author, Denise Jaden, who’s written an incredibly intriguing book, Losing Faith.

Losing Faith
by Denise Jaden

A terrible secret.
A terrible fate.

About the book:

When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Rave Reviews:

“Strong in its characterization…satisfying…a thoughtful read.”

“This book is wonderful. I stayed up way too late because I couldn’t put it down. Tessa is one of my all-time favorite characters – fascinating, nuanced – she lived for me, jumped right off the page. Terrific read!”
– Janet Fox, author of Faithful (Penguin/Speak, 2010) and Get Organized Without Losing It (Free Spirit Publishing, 2006)

“Suspense, religion, romance, teenage angst—this book has it all and it is all well done. Losing Faith was an amazing read that hooked me in the beginning and when it was done I was well-satisfied with the conclusion. Great from start-to-finish!”
– Crystal at


Denise Jaden lives just outside Vancouver, Canada. When she’s not writing, she can often be found homeschooling her son or dancing with her Polynesian dance troupe. Losing Faith is her first novel. Find out more at

Hey! She lives just up the road from me, in a manner of speaking. And her bio is definitely intriguing, no? But of course, being me, I had a few more questions to ask. Okay, I totally bogarted the pop quiz from my own bio with a couple of embellishments. So here we go:

Dark or milk chocolate?

Definitely dark. The darker the better. 70% cocoa or higher preferable.

Thin or thick crust pizza?

Hmm. I don’t really care. Pizza is good no matter which way you slice it.

Lakes or oceans?

Oceans. I love the vastness of them and the waves are calming. Plus, I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf.

Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen Dazs?

When I was growing up, we didn’t have Ben & Jerry’s in Canada, so I’m a Haagen Dazs girl. Though, I admit, I love Cold Stone Creamery above all else. (Mmm… Cold Stone…)

Lady Gaga or Katy Perry? (If neither, then who?)

I hate music questions. I have very eclectic tastes in music and I fear if I answer one way people will assume generalizations about my musical tastes. I plead the fifth! (Barb’s note: Oh, I totally get this. Says the woman with over 13,000 entries in her iTunes library…)

GLEE or Vampire Diaries? (Or whatever show currently has your fancy)

We don’t get any channels at our house so I’m totally not up on current TV. I have a set of Friends DVD’s that I can’t get enough of though.

Ten or Eleven? (For the Doctor Who fans– if you’re not one, then has there ever been a show or film or book that turned you into a hardcore fan?)

Nope. Not a hardcore fan of anything, but I have lots and lots of films and books that I love. Some favorite movies: The Matrix, Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally. Favorite authors (including all their books): Sarah Dessen, Sarra Manning, Laurie Halse Anderson

Coke or Pepsi?

Diet of either. I’m not picky.

Growing up, astronaut or supermodel?

Probably supermodel. More likely actress.

Final question: If your book had a theme song, what would it be?

Ugh. Another music question! Actually, a good friend of mine, musician Jerrica Santos, wrote a song about my book called Losing Faith. It will be released to the world soon. Stay tuned…

Thanks so much, Denise and we’ll definitely be checking out Losing Faith!