Spotlight on Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

 Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art — until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all — with enough distance, maybe she’ll be able to figure everything out. But even in the midst of the road trip’s flat tires, gas-station food stops, and detours to quirky roadside attractions, eventually Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.

.

 Jennifer Brown continues to amaze me. She takes on difficult topics–school shootings, abuse, and now mental illness–with grace and beauty. Her characters are deep and believable in a way that pulls you in and turns the pages. If you haven’t read anything by her yet, you are missing out!
.
Categories: Books I love | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Miss Fortune Cookies goes to Washington

Categories: Book Launch, Miss Fortune Cookie | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Miss Fortune Cookie is in the building!

A new book is as sweet as a newborn baby. I talk to mine in a funny voice and pat its soft head.

Every morning.

 It rarely cries. It already sleeps through the night.

Best of all is its innocence.

It has never thrown a tantrum, told me it hates me, or left its socks on the floor.

I know that day will come, of course. Until then, I will sing lullabies.

 You can win a copy through Goodreads. The giveaway ends the 15th at midnight.

You can also enter at Jelly Loves Books. Win a copy of the book plus some cool swag.  Entries will close on November 20.

For a peek at the first page, plus one more chance to win a copy, visit First Page Panda.

If you don’t win (sad face) , buy a copy, borrow it from your library, or steal one (from you best friend, not a bookstore).

Then curl up under the covers and enjoy.

Categories: Book Launch, Miss Fortune Cookie, Real Life, the love of writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Following advice vs. falling in love

Jelly Loves Books is hosting a giveaway of Miss Fortune Cookie plus some cool swag.

Go here to enter!

You can also read my guest post about how falling in love and following advice don’t mix.

Categories: Giveaways, Miss Fortune Cookie, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad asks too many questions

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My dad is driving me crazy. Whenever I bring a boy over, he asks a ton of embarrassing questions. Can you do your own laundry? When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? What’s your gpa? How fast can you run a mile? And if he doesn’t like the answers, he says we can’t go out. What should I do to keep myself from strangling him?

Sneaking Around

Dear Sneaking Around,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: A girl with one chopstick will go hungry.

Think of you and your dad as a team. He’s looking out for you, making sure you don’t end up with a loser—a slob that will expect you to do his laundry.

Start a conversation with your dad about what to look for in a partner. And—if you don’t care about how fast your boyfriend can run—share your feelings on the matter.

Good luck!
Miss Fortune Cookie

Categories: Miss Fortune Cookie letters | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

bad news in an email? don’t do it!

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Thank you for the advice last week! I’m sending my acceptance to Cal Tech tomorrow!!! I’m scared to tell my friend that we won’t be going to college together. Can I do it by email?

Natalie

Dear Natalie,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: A closed mouth gathers no feet. Just don’t tell her. Bad joke!

Tell your friend about your decision when the two of you have time together alone. And bring her favorite treat to sweeten the bitter news.

Miss Fortune Cookie

 

For more Dear Miss Fortune Cookie letters, click here.

Categories: Miss Fortune Cookie | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Why write about sexuality if you’re not gay?

My debut YA, My Invented Life, centers around big SECRET that drives a wedge between sisters that used to be close. The secret has to do with sexual identity. When the book hit the stores, interviewers often asked me what inspired me to write it.

This question always made me squirm. The easy answer would’ve been, “I wish that funny, uplifting stories with lesbian an bi girls existed back when I was a teen.” Unfortunately that would’ve been a lie. I am not lesbian or bi. I don’t have any LGBT family members. Nor LGBT friends in HS. The challenges of growing up gay did not occur to me until much later. I’m that lame.

In fact, my biggest post-pub fear went something like this: LGBT readers and authors would scoff at my lack of “credentials,” laugh in my face, call me a fraud, or much worse. (False alarm, btw. I learned later that people like me are called allies. I felt very appreciated by the LGBT community.)

Luckily, the interviews were written, so I had time to develop cogent answers.

Reason A: I was inspired by events around my high school reunion. A number of my classmates came out around then. I asked a few about their experience in HS, and was somewhat horrified by their answers.

True.

Reason B: I wanted to write an uplifting story that focused on a friendship between sisters, and how a secret can ruin a friendship. I didn’t want the “coming out” itself to be traumatic.

Also true.

However, the biggest reason didn’t occur to me until after the book got published. Here it is: I can identify with the pain of LGBT teens that hide their true selves from friends because I grew up in the same situation.

Only different.

My mom died when I was five. She didn’t die in a car wreck, of cancer, or in any tragic, yet socially acceptable way. She killed herself. My Dad insisted that my sister and I keep it a secret. I mostly did. But the secret made me feel ashamed. Dark. Dishonest. Disconnected. Fringe.

And that is why I believe in telling the truth, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Some day, I hope to live in a world where we aren’t afraid that others might judge us for who we really are.

Categories: My Invented Life, Real Life, the love of writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fan trailer

The creative and talented Fausto Umanzor made this trailer of Miss Fortune Cookie.

Enjoy!

Categories: Miss Fortune Cookie | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

tempted by revenge

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My best friend stole my boyfriend. Now she’s going to prom with him. Is it wrong to give her mono by drinking from her soda can at lunch?

Tempted

Dear Tempted,

Can you really give someone mono that way? I wish they taught us useful things like that in bio. Seriously though …

Confucius said: Before embarking on a path of revenge, first dig two graves. Are you still friends with her? If so, tell her how you feel. If you are no longer friends, revenge won’t make anything better.

Miss Fortune Cookie

Excerpted from MISS FORTUNE COOKIE (Henry Holt, 2012)

Categories: Miss Fortune Cookie, Miss Fortune Cookie letters | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

love interests

The love interests in my novels tend toward the unconventional. This may have something to do with my own experience that the perfect specimens of manhood weren’t always the most desirable in other regards. With this in mind, I created a list.

what’s hot        …       and     …        what’s not

tells a good story                                   has a bad case of braggadocio pox

has a genuine laugh                               thinks cracking a smile wrecks his image

touches your hair while you kiss         flips her own hair before you kiss

looks deeply into your eyes                  stares at self whenever a mirror is present

has a personal style                               wears what everyone else wears

geeks out over a passion                       is too cool to have a passion

likes to exchange ideas                         nods, but never removes earplugs

cheers you on                                        always tries to outdo you

respects who you are                             tells you who to be

In my books, the love interest may get to swoop in on a horse or motorcycle or whatever and save the day every so often. But the main character gets to do some swooping of her own.

Categories: Fun stuff | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.