Happy Valentine’s Day

Cutest valentine ever. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of the most romantic day of the year, I’ve got two presents for you–presents that are *almost* as good as chocolate and roses and diamonds.

First, a sweet little excerpt from one of my writing projects, All Mixed Up. It happens just before Valentine’s day, so it’s sort of perfect for the occasion… 

“Hey,” he says. “Saturday’s Valentine’s Day. Let’s hang out.”

“What should we do?”

He ponders, toying with the ends of my hair. “Seattle,” he says decidedly. “Something fun. Something to cheer you up.”

“It’s not your job to cheer me up, Max.”

“Sure it is. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but my happiness is directly related to yours. I never, ever want to see you cry again.”

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

“I have my moments.” I hear the smile in his voice. “Remember when you had that horrible summer job walking the Nelsons’ dog?”

The Nelsons, who live a couple houses down from the Holdens, hired me a few years back to walk their grouchy terrier once every weekday while school was out. It was a thankless job full of ankle nips and poop-scooping, worsened by the fact that it was one of the hottest summers on record. “Ugh. Yes. Why?”

“Remember how I used to walk with you?”

“I do.” Max’s company had kept me from strangling that dog.

“Do you know why I walked with you?”

“Because you weren’t old enough to get your driver’s license? You were bored?”

“Hardly.”

Curious, I fold my hands across his chest, drop my chin onto them, and work to make out his features in the darkness. “Why, then?”

“Because I thought I was in love with you.”

I laugh out loud, only lowering my voice when I remember I’m in Max Holden’s bed in the middle of the night, just down the hall from his sisters.

“Seriously,” he says. “I was convinced you were, like, my soul mate or something.” He pauses, grinning at the memory. “Even back then, watching you drag that shitty little dog down the block, I thought you were the most beautiful girl in the whole neighborhood.”

Aww… I love Max and Jill, and I hope you get to read more of their story one day.

And, your second present… Book recommendations! Here are some of my very favorite YA love stories. (Covers link to Goodreads pages.) 

    

  

    

    

    

     

There you have it, friends. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Tell me: What’s your favorite love story? 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentines

In honor of the Day of Love, I’m jumping in on YA Highway‘s Valentine’s Day Blog Lovefest. The parameters are as follows: The Valentine blog posts can be a love note to anything–another blogger, a book, an author, a character, a bookstore, your beta readers…anything and anyone!  Since I’m sort of terrible at following directions and at narrowing things down, and since it’s February 14th, I’m going to list…

FOURTEEN (TOTALLY RANDOM) THINGS I LOVE…

1. My husband. Because he’s selfless and patient and funny and kind and the very best kind of daddy to our little girl. Plus, he’s super cute.

2. My daughter. Because she’s sweet and precocious and thoughtful and adorable and she makes me smile every day.

3. My blog, and my blog readers, and YOUR blogs. Because your visits and your comments and your posts give me the greatest sense of community.

4. Inspiration. Because it’s everywhere. On TV. In nature. In art. In the kitchen. In window shopping and people watching and daydreaming. In the support of those who love me, and in the success of those before me.

5. Yoga. Because not only is it fantastic exercise, but it makes me feel more centered and grounded and peaceful.

6. Agent Vickie. Because she’s encouraging and savvy and writes some of the most hilarious emails and editorial notes ever. And because she loves my “people” like I do.

7. The lovelies who’ve read and commented so helpfully on my writing. Heather, Jus, Ann, Christa, Amie, Alison, and Kari — What would I do without you girls?!

8. Twitter. Because every day I learn something new, and every day I interact with brilliant people, and every day I feel less alone in my writing crazies.

9. Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate. Because it’s my writing fuel.

10. Books. Because they teach and entertain and transport and delight. A few of my favorites from this year so far? A Million Suns. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. The Disenchantments.

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11. My writing/blogging friends and regular commenters. Especially Tracey, Jessica, Erin, Katharine, Alicia, Kris, Carol, Sophia, KirstenCaroline, Jaime, ElodieErin, and Rebecca (who I met through YA Highway’s Valentine’s Day blogfest last year!).

12. My family and (real-life) friends. Because they’re wildly supportive even though they don’t entirely understand this nutso writing dream of mine.

13. The Bookanista. Because they’re new friends with a mutual love for promoting amazing kidlit.

14. Pinterest. Because… I just can’t help myself. It’s simply awesome.

Who are you showing Valentine Love for today?