Miss Fortune Cookie

Ultimate YA rocks!

This November The Ultimate YA Reading Group featured Miss Fortune Cookie on Tumblr. The interview questions they wrote for me were some of the best I’ve answered in a long time!

Ultimate YA describes themselves as an organization that promotes young adult (YA) literature and reading. But they are so much more than that. Between book posts, they post hilarious, inspirational, and touching videos, photos, and quotes about writing.

Like this one. It totally cracks me up.

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Miss Fortune Cookies goes to Washington

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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.

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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.

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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?


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.

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Fan trailer

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


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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?


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)

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My book has a cover!

Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

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Bad boys vs. Nice guys (please vote)

One day, I was eavesdropping in the courtyard of a little hotel in Bangkok where I stayed for a month while my sexy-geek husband studied parasites at a local hospital.

girl 1: He’s not too nice if you know what I mean.

girl 2: That’s the way I like them. Bad boys. Ha ha.

me: ????

Which brings me to confession–as usual, I feel out of step with popular culture. I actually like nice guys. And I’d rather not save my man from himself.

Yes, I found Jordan in My-So-Called Life swoon-worthy. But his behavior eventually wore on my one last nerve. In the last episode, I got furious with Angela for jumping in his car after Brian admitted writing the love letter, the most beautiful love letter of all time, imo.

But I can’t write a love interest that doesn’t appeal to me, leaving me only one option. Roll with it. That’s why Roz’s love interest in My Invented Life has bangs half covering his face, stammers, and flirts by throwing pillows. But he also cut a picture of Roz from the newspaper and tacked it up in his room. Romantic? I think so.

I adore geeks, and one of the two love interests in my latest novel Miss Fortune Cookie (fall 2012) totally fits into the category. When I describe him as a Filipino-American Legolas, the copy-editor wrote a note in the margin, “Is he supposed to be attractive?”

Um. Yes?

In my current WIP, I am experimenting with a bad boy love interest. He shop-lifts, cuts school, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas because of his dead-beat dad. But guess what? he’s turning out to be NICE underneath. Arrrgh!

So I need to know if there is a fervent minority like me.


Or him?

Please vote in the comments.

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researching on youtube

Youtube is a great place to spend a lot of time do research for a novel. Just the other day, I needed a song for Erin in Miss Fortune Cookie–something slightly embarrassing for her to sing when she thinks she’s alone (but isn’t). Mwaahaahaa. I spent a very enjoyable hour, and added a whole dozen words to my manuscript. Very productive!

Not exactly.

But Nrrd Grrl by MC Chris totally cracked me up. I want to write about her. She’s perfect.

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