Enter for your chance to win! Win! Win!

I totally love Alice Marvels, from its spot-on YA book reviews to its dreamy illustrations. And right now at this very second, they are not only featuring The Viscount’s Daughter in the Indie Spotlight section, but they’re also sponsoring an awesome giveaway!

You could enter for a chance to win one of three Treadwell Academy paperback trios, featuring The Rock Star’s Daughter (still in the Top 10 Romance books for teens after all these months!), The Believer’s Daughter, and The Viscount’s Daughter. And one grand prize winner will also win the books, plus a totally cute Kate Sutton-designed backpack for Le SportSac filled with nifty school supplies.

So you might not be going back to school at the Treadwell Academy, but you can take the Academy with you!  Don’t delay, enter before September 7th, and while you’re there, sign up for the Alice Marvels newsletter. They feature really fantastic books and always have tons of giveaways going on.

Good luck!

Tomorrow I’m off to the beach and I’ll be blogging all my shopping adventures.

Finding Felix… welcome to Brighton Beach!

Hi fellow internet peoples! As promised yesterday, today I ventured out to the Brighton Beach/Coney Island neighborhood for the first time in quite a while. When I was new to New York, I made the journey out on the F train to the beach quite frequently.  It’s easy sometimes to forget that there’s a nice beach in Brooklyn accessible by the subway. And, like the character of Felix Katz in The Believer’s Daughter, a lot of people live out in the Brighton Beach area and commute about an hour into the city every day for work.

Can you imagine living just a few steps away from a beach and a carnival? I guess if you live near Santa Monica, you probably can. I was pleased to observe upon arriving at Coney Island this morning that it’s a lot cleaner and nicer than I remember, and I daresay the boardwalk is far less sleazy than the one in Venice Beach. Holla, New Yorkers!  I did, however, see an old man crash his bicycle into a brick wall when he was straining his neck to watch girls in bikinis jog past. Fortunately, no one was injured, and sadly, I was laughing too hard to capture the moment with my camera.

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Coney Island used to be a pretty seedy area, not too long ago. It was a place where you could still see old-fashioned sideshows, like bearded ladies, wolf boys and magicians pulling doves out of hats. For a while, its future was up in the air, but the new amusement park, Luna Park, seems to have brought a lot of the old charm back to the boardwalk while simultaneously getting rid of a lot of the weird, dirty carnival element.

Brighton Beach is a neighborhood rich in history and it has historically been a place where a lot of Jewish immigrants coming from Eastern Europe settle after arriving in New York (immortalized in Neil Simon’s very famous play, Brighton Beach Memoirs).  One of my favorite things about New York is that you can almost feel like you’re visiting another country without ever leaving the city. Brighton Beach exemplifies this perfectly; it’s a neighborhood where you hear a lot of Russian spoken, and if you walk a few blocks inland from the boardwalk, there are tons of Russian and Turkish restaurants. When I was creating the character of Felix, I knew I wanted him to be as different as possible from Grace. She’s a sheltered, spoiled girl raised, as her brother calls it, “behind the religious curtain.” I wrote Felix as a worldly, mature guy whose parents were raised behind the iron curtain, which is what Russia used to be referred to before Glasnost.

Shopping in the Hamptons, Part II

Very cute orange pleated dress at Steven Alan

Killer gold dust heels at Intermix

Awesome pink shirt dress, also at Intermix

No skaters!

Super cute shoes – pinstripe flats!

I’m oh-so-close to finishing edits on Book #3 of the Treadwell Academy Series (all about Emma Jeffries and her ill-fated modeling career). So to get in the spirit of Emma, I ventured back out to the Hamptons this past weekend for a little more fancy window shopping.

In the book, Emma’s dad owns the enormous fictitious retail  chain “Hunter Lodge,” which was inspired by the likes of  Ralph Lauren/Abercrombie/Hollister/Tommy Hilfiger/L.L. Bean.  Think polo shirts and shrunken jeans, ski vests and wool sweaters. Also in the book, (SPOILER ALERT) Emma ends up buying a piece of property on which she plans to raise horses (one of which just happens to belong to Grace Mathison from The Believer’s Daughter) and build a wellness center. So I like to think of my little adventures in Long Island’s beautiful seaside community as part of my research.

Yeah, research!

Funky graffiti on a rainy day

When I was writing The Believer’s Daughter, I really wanted Felix to be a new-fangled, cool kind of artist. I wanted him to push the boundaries as an artist, but writing him as a traditional painter seemed a little too trite for a kid from the Coney Island area. So his character became a guy who channeled his artistic impulses through tattooing and graffiti.

I think graffiti has kind of a bad reputation in the art world, kind of like the misbehaving stepbrother who can’t get his act together, when really… some graffiti artists have achieved enormous success (like Banksy) and others are incredibly skilled illustrators.

Check out Klub 7, a group of designers from Berlin. Their exhibition is currently showing at the Pandemic Gallery in Brooklyn. Chances are good that even if you’ve never heard of them, you’ve seen their work.

I kind of wish they’d come beautify my neighborhood! And if you haven’t read The Believer’s Daughter yet, you might want to, because Book 4 will make more sense if you’ve read it (Betsey Norfleet moves into the dorm room at Colgate Hall that Grace Mathison leave behind when she runs away from school). It’s only $1.99! What are you waiting for? 🙂

Dear Canada and UK Readers, I love you guys

So, it’s a holiday in many parts of the world today (not my part, specifically, my office). My publisher just informed me that The Believer’s Daughter has already cracked the top 100 lists for children & teens in Canada and the UK on iTunes. Do you guys have any idea how happy this makes me??? Not that selling books is a competition, because I’m well aware that there are some awesome new releases on the market (in other words, as a writer, I’m in good company)! But when a title makes its way onto the top 100 lists, that just means more people will see it when they log in to iTunes – which is huge for a new writer like myself! I can’t thank you guys enough for your support and I really encourage you to contact me and let me know your thoughts on this book. Did you like it? Do you have ideas for future stories about the girls of Treadwell? Are you still eager for a sequel to the Taylor book? The next two entries in the series are much more glamorous than Book 2… so if you’re missing the element of fame & fortune, don’t worry… Emma Jeffries is filthy rich and likes to brag. And if you like Gigi and are eager to see what happens between her and Felix, their story continues in Books #3 and #4.

And don’t forget, you can get a sneak peek at Book # 4 about Betsey Norfleet (from the Virginia Beach part of The Rock Star’s Daughter) by visiting my Facebook page!

Grace – The Believer’s Daughter is finally available!

Hi everyone! It feels like I’ve been waiting for this day FOREVER but Book #2 in the Treadwell series is finally available on iTunes, as well as on Amazon!

Check it out on iTunes!

Check it out on Amazon!

This book is $1.99 because it’s LONGER than Book #1 (and there are mentions of Taylor… not to mention a special appearance by none other than JAKE).  10% of the proceeds from the sale of this book are being donated by my publisher to the Born This Way Foundation to fight bullying!

Here’s a sneak peek at the book, below. And as a very special treat, I’ve posted the first chapter of Book #4 to Facebook! It’s a work in progress, so I’m sure there are typos, but if you loved the Norfleet sisters… you’ll love Book #4.

Things Grace Mathison did her sophomore year of high school that she never expected to do in her lifetime:
1.) Run away with her brother to New York City
2.) Tattoo a unicorn on a pop star’s back
3.) Fall in love a Russian graffiti artist

At the age of 15, Grace Mathison has been sheltered most of her life. Her father is a successful television evangelist, famous for starting headline-grabbing feuds with the fathers of Grace’s classmates at the Treadwell Academy over lyrics in rap music and risqué catalog covers. Unlike her classmates at Treadwell, she prefers riding her horse, True Heart, and sketching in her drawing pad, over gossiping and shopping for fancy clothes.
When Grace’s beloved older brother, Aaron, makes international headlines with a romantic relationship gone wrong, Grace finds out that her father doesn’t practice forgiveness as he preaches. Aaron is disowned, and begs Grace to run away with him to start a new life. Delving head-first into a personal examination of the difference between right and wrong, Grace grapples with everything in which she has been raised to believe.
She and Aaron find themselves in New York City, struggling to meet adult challenges like paying rent and holding down jobs. To make matters worse, their parents’ troubles are only beginning. Grace learns that they are being investigated for financial fraud, and their entire empire is in danger. And then there’s Felix, the cute tattoo artist who dabbles in graffiti. Incredibly, in a city inhabited by millions, he and Grace keep crossing paths.
Grace starts to realize what she’s really made of… she’s a lot tougher and smarter than the mean girls at Treadwell ever knew. In the face of losing everything she cherishes, she closely examines what she believes in and discovers what she least expected to find: that she believes in herself.

Book 2… incoming!

At last, it’s here! I’ll be posting the first Chapter to Facebook as a sneak preview later today!  You can become a fan of Treadwell on Facebook to get all of the latest scoops 🙂

http://www.facebook.com/TreadwellAcademyNovels

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Things Grace Mathison did her sophomore year of high school that she never expected to do in her lifetime:

1.) Run away with her brother to New York City

2.) Tattoo a unicorn on a pop star’s back

3.) Fall in love a Russian graffiti artist

At the age of 15, Grace Mathison has been sheltered most of her life. Her father is a successful television evangelist, famous for starting headline-grabbing feuds with the fathers of Grace’s classmates at the Treadwell Academy over lyrics in rap music and risqué catalog covers.  Unlike her classmates at Treadwell, she prefers riding her horse, True Heart, and sketching in her drawing pad, over gossiping and shopping for fancy clothes.

When Grace’s beloved older brother, Aaron, makes international headlines with a romantic relationship gone wrong, Grace finds out that her father doesn’t practice forgiveness as he preaches. Aaron is disowned, and begs Grace to run away with him to start a new life. Delving head-first into a personal examination of the difference between right and wrong, Grace grapples with everything in which she has been raised to believe.

She and Aaron find themselves in New York City, struggling to meet adult challenges like paying rent and holding down jobs. To make matters worse, their parents’ troubles are only beginning. Grace learns that they are being investigated for financial fraud, and their entire empire is in danger.  And then there’s Felix, the cute tattoo artist who dabbles in graffiti. Incredibly, in a city inhabited by millions, he and Grace keep crossing paths.

Grace starts to realize what she’s really made of… she’s a lot tougher and smarter than the mean girls at Treadwell ever knew. In the face of losing everything she cherishes, she closely examines what she believes in and discovers what she least expected to find: that she believes in herself.

The cover of Book 2 – in progress!

Today’s a super-exciting day for me because I’ve been working with the art director designing the cover for Book 2 (The Believer’s Daughter) and this week our photographer is shooting the cover shot! We’re working with a photographer named Marie Killen, whose work I LOVE, and I am so happy that we found her. It’s been really creative and inspiring to be a part of designing the cover after spending so much time developing the characters in Book 2.

Elements I really wanted to somehow infuse into the cover for Book 2:

1.) Gritty, New York City Chinatown

2) Tiny Grace with her punk rock hair

3) Possibly some graffiti, tattoo-inspired design

I cannot wait for you guys to get to see the comps!