Category Archives: Giveaway!

KISSING MAX HOLDEN Preorder Incentive

Friends, preordering a book is an AWESOME thing to do.

First, preordering almost always ensures that you’ll pay the lowest price; many online retailers have a preorder price guarantee, meaning even if you order the book now at its full price, you’ll end up paying the lowest price that book might fall to. Win!

Second, preordering means you’ll have a brand new book delivered to your doorstep, very often on its release day. So, you don’t have to get dressed, or forgo your hot cup of coffee, or battle traffic to get that new book you’ve had your eye on. Again, win!

Third, preordering helps authors; when booksellers see preorder interest in forthcoming releases, they often purchase and shelve more copies of those releases, giving them more exposure and, hopefully, greater sales. And again, WIN!

Fourth, sometimes (THIS TIME!) there are incentives associated with preordering…

Upperman - Kissing Max Holden HI RES

If you have preordered or plan to preorder a copy of Kissing Max Holden, you’re eligible to receive the preorder incentives detailed below! 

Tier One
A gift for all who enter, while supplies last. Includes one signed Kissing Max Holden bookmark, one card featuring the secret recipe for Jilly’s *Best* Chocolate Chip Cookies, and one exclusive bookplate, personalized and signed, just for you! International.


Tier Two
Three winners will be chosen at random to receive the gifts in Tier One, plus a cupcake notebook, nail polish in “Dream On”, a Lindt Caramel Brownie treat, and a Swoon Reads coloring book. U.S. only.


Tier Three
One winner will be chosen at random to receive the gifts from Tiers One and Two, as well as a kissy lips cookie cutter, an arrow-heart spatula, a hardcover edition of the Cookie Love cookbook, and a “Happily Ever After” candle. U.S only.



Here’s How To Enter

  1. Preorder a hardcover (ISBN 9781250111166) or eBook (ISBN 9781250111159) of Kissing Max Holden {UK edition hardcover (ISBN-10: 1250111161) or eBook (ISBN-13: 978-1250111166} from your favorite bookseller. For convenience, here are some quick links: AmazonIndie BoundBarnes & NobleBAM!TargetPowell’sOne More Page BooksAmazon UK, Chapters Indigo.
  2. Photograph or screenshot your proof of purchase.
  3. Fill out this KISSING MAX HOLDEN Preorder Incentive form, including your name, email address, mailing address, and preferred bookplate personalization.
  4. Email your proof of purchase to


Fine Print

Entries must be submitted via the linked form by July 31st at 11:59 PM. First Tier gifts are available to all entrants. Second and Third Tier gifts are available only to entrants with U.S. mailing addresses. Proof of purchase must be submitted for eligibility. Preorder incentive is open as long as supplies last. Gifts will be mailed on a first-come, first-serve basis, beginning in August.

Questions? Please email them to

As always, thank you so much for your support! 😘


KISSING MAX HOLDEN Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Fun fact: There’s a Valentine’s Day scene in Kissing Max Holden.


“Saturday’s Valentine’s Day,” I say. “Can we hang out?”

“Yeah, of course. What should we do?”

I ponder while he toys with the ends of my hair, and then inspiration strikes. “Seattle. I want to take you to my favorite restaurant.”

“Cool. Can I plan the rest of the day?”

“Depends on what you’ve got in mind.”

“Fun stuff. Stuff that’ll cheer you up. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but my happiness relates directly to yours. I never want to see you cry again.”

“That might be the sweetest thing you’ve ever said, Max Holden.”


To celebrate this most romantic day of the year, how about an ARC giveaway?!



      Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway here!      


(Fine print: Giveaway runs February 10th – February 15th at midnight. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email on Friday, February 17th. U.S. entries only — sincere apologies to my international friends! ❤️)


It’s Halloween!

Today is significant for two reasons:

1. My daughter gets to dress up like an 80s pop star and collect buckets of candy from our neighbors.

2. Kissing Max Holden debuts in nine months AND its opening chapter takes place on Halloween. There’s kissing. Would you expect anything less? 💋


As my fingers drop away, he opens his eyes, catching my hand as it falls. I try not to fidget as he stretches it open, holds it close to his face, and studies my palm like he’s reading my fate. My fingertips are stained an odd carrot color because I spent Halloween the same way I spend most evenings: baking. The orange food tint I used to color marzipan for pumpkin cupcakes is evidence. Layered over the orange, accentuating the dips and valleys of my fingerprints, is the black liner I lifted from his pirate makeup.

He folds my palm into the web of his and drops our knotted fingers to his lap, like the two of us holding hands is the most ordinary thing in the world. “Why are you being nice?”

“I’m always nice,” I say, distracted by the heat of his hand against mine.

“Remember when we were friends?”

“Max. We’re still friends.”

“Not like we used to be.”

“Nothing’s like it used to be.” The admission makes my chest ache.


So, because this debut of mine hits bookstores in nine months, and because we meet Jilly and Max on Halloween, I thought a celebration was in order…

How about an ARC giveaway?!


Guys, I’m giving away *one* advanced copy of Kissing Max Holden!

Entering is SO easy.

Be sure you’re following me on Twitter, and retweet this tweet.

That’s it!

I’ll randomly select one winner to receive an ARC of Kissing Max Holden — signed, if you want. The giveaway ends Thursday, November 3 at midnight. I’ll contact the winner on November 4. International entries are fine!

Best of luck, and Happy Halloween!


Guys, you know what this means, right?

Kissing Max Holden debuts in exactly one year! 

CP gif

Let’s celebrate with a giveaway, shall we?

One lucky winner will receive FOUR of my favorite YA novels — each signed by its author!


That’s right: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, and The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh will go to one randomly chosen winner!

⬇️  Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter link below. ⬇️

**** A Rafflecopter Giveaway ****


Fine print: This giveaway is for US residents only (why is shipping so expensive?!) but please look for international giveaways in the future. If you are under 18, please secure parental permission before entering. All entries will be verified. Giveaway begins August 1st and continues through August 9th at 12 a.m. The winner will be announced and contacted shortly thereafter. 

Any help in spreading the word will be much appreciated. ❤

VIOLENT ENDS Giveaway Winner…

The winner of last week’s Violent Ends giveaway is…


Congratulations, Kaitlin! I hope you find this book to be as well-written and affecting as I did. I’ll be in touch for your address.

Thanks so much to all who entered!


(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)



My new Nikes, which I’ve been eyeing for months. Chestnut Praline Lattes with coconut milk, ’cause everything’s better with coconut milk. Erin Condren notebooks — since I’m going with an InkWell Press Planner in 2016 (!!!), I used my stockpile of EC credits to score a notebook and several dividers, and I’m going to use it to record family recipes. Finally, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting — so yummy!


I recently finished Violent Ends, an anthology about a school shooting which totally blew me away. Find my review and an opportunity to win a copy of your own HERE. Last night I finished The Game Plan by Kristin Callihan, the recently released third book in her Game On series, which I’m kind of obsessed with. A smutty good time. 😉 Now I’m reading Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers, which is excellent so far.



Parks and Recreation. Sitcoms aren’t usually my thing, but this one… I’ve been watching compulsively, and ~literally~ every episode makes me laugh. Plus, they’re short, easy to fit in while I’m folding laundry or cleaning a bathroom. (My life is so glam.)

Listening To

I 💜 Echosmith!

Thinking About

My WiP, a contemporary YA set in Northern Virginia/DC. It’s been extra fun to draft because I’ve taken myself on a few field trips to visit some of the locations where scenes are set. For example, the Washington National Cathedral, which is gorgeous. My WiP’s hovering right around 30K, and I’m currently brainstorming fun and unexpected ways to move it forward. 

November 15th, the last day readers can leave ratings and comments on their favorite Swoon Reads stories to help give them a shot at publication. After the 15th, Swoon Reads editors will start reading and considering… All the nerves! (Find my story, Kissing Max Holden, HERE.)

Related… A reader at Swoon Reads recently left the loveliest comment on Kissing Max Holden — totally made my day. An excerpt from her review: This seems like it wasn’t written to impress anyone. No ego in it – just humanity in all its joyous and shattering pieces.


That I could relive this night! I met Judy Blume, guys, and she was wonderful. So sweet and enthusiastic and encouraging and inspirational. She was exactly the woman I’ve imagined over the nearly thirty years that I’ve been a fan. ❤


Making Me Happy

Sip Swap is approaching! I’ve signed up for this super fun writers’ mug exchange hosted by Kelsey Macke and Jessica Love — have you?!

What’s currently making YOU happy?

October Reading Wrap-Up (+ Giveaway)

Check the end of this post for details on a giveaway of Violent Ends.
{As always, cover images link to Goodreads pages.}

Marrow by Tarryn Fisher – Oh, look — another Tarryn Fisher novel for me to rave incoherently about. Once again, I’m not going to tell you anything about its plot, expect this: it reminds me a little of Dexter and a little of that Charlize Theron movie Monster, and it’s a total freaking trip. Like, seriously — even after reading Marrow‘s conclusion, I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t, and I didn’t even care because the story was so visceral and the writing was so gorgeous, I was completely moved by the lives I’d immersed myself in. Margo is a fascinating character, but she’s a sad character. Her life is full of darkness, until she meets Judah and begins an intense friendship with him. Judah becomes Margo’s light, but their relationship is far from traditional, and Margo’s life is far from easy. She endures a violent and upsetting journey throughout the course of the story; the brave, resilient woman she becomes is vastly different from the hopeless teenager who opens the book. Marrow made me think. It made me wonder. And most importantly, it made me feel. Recommend if you’re into dark books full of philosophical questions and profound themes. (Also, not a must, but I suggest reading Tarryn Fisher’s Mud Vein before Marrow. There are definitely some links.)

Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius – This debut is cute, cute, cute! Its cover reflects its whimsy perfectly, and reading it was such a joy. Its themes of destiny and fated love remind me of that old Marisa Tomei/Robert Downey Jr. movie Only You, which I’ve adored for ages. The romance in Love Fortunes and Other Disasters feels inevitable, but somehow still wonderous, and the chemistry between MC Fallon (who’s smart and idyllic and easy to root for) and the boy who catches her eye is slow to build and totally believable. I loved the setting of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. Grimbaud is fanciful and fun, and I’d absolutely travel there given the opportunity; it reads like an enchanted European village. I love, too, Kimberly Karalius’s 3rd person narration, which I don’t see a lot of in YA. It works so well in this magically realistic novel. I definitely recommend this charming story, but maybe hold off on reading it until Valentine’s Day. ❤

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics – Yikes. Let me start out by saying that while I love horror stories, they don’t generally scare me. I can watch The Exorcist before bed and sleep just fine. But Daughters Unto Devils freaked me out. Part of it’s the story’s setting. It’s so remote. Think Little House on the Prairie, when Laura and her family first arrive on the plains and are forced to exist all on their own. Only, throw in visions of the devil, unwanted pregnancy, some seriously unnerving neighbors, and a cabin that looks like it’s scene a massacre. Intrigued? Daughters Unto Devils protagonist Amanda Verner is such a compelling character. The story opens with her “laying” with the post boy, an act which is unquestionably against her family’s religion and moral code, yet Amanda is unapologetic, which immediately endeared me to her. She’s not always easy to like, though — she wishes her little sister dead, and prays to lose the baby growing inside her. She’s also having visions and hearing strange sounds, reasons to question her sanity and reliableness as an narrator. Still, she’s strong and spirited and smart, and by the story’s end (when lives were literally on the line) I was firmly on her side. Daughters Unto Devils is not for the weak of heart. It’s classic horror, and there are some supremely disturbing scenes, but it’s skillfully written and incredibly entertaining. An impressive debut!

Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson and sixteen other YA authors – I bought this book, about the before, during, and after of a high school shooting, because I was curious (and maybe a little doubtful) about whether or not the many different narrative voices/character perspectives would come together. After reading and processing, all I can say is WOW. What a heartbreaking, poignant, powerful story. It’s SO well done — chill-inducing in many instances. The characters (victims, bystanders, the gun itself) are skillfully drawn and complex, each extraordinarily unique. The writing is top-notch and, against all odds, flows seamlessly. As I read the final line of each chapter, I thought: Surely the next won’t be as good as this, but it always was. Somehow, seventeen writers (including a few of my favorites: Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, and Trish Doller) came together to create a cohesive glimpse into the life of Kirby Matheson, a boy-turned-mass murderer. Somehow, they made him more than his act. Though Kirby didn’t earn my sympathy (how could he possibly?), he earned my regard, my consideration, my reflection. And his victims, those who died and those who were irrevocably impacted by the shooting, will continue to haunt me. I believe so whole-heartedly in the quality and importance of Violent Ends, I’m going to give a copy away. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered in a random drawing. I’ll choose the winner in one week, November 6th. Giveaway is open to anyone with a mailing address that The Book Depository will ship to. And if you don’t win? You should run out and buy this book immediately.

Tell me… What’s the best book you read in October?