Yearly Archives: 2006

Childcare, it’s not glam either!!!

Thank you to everyone who emailed and commented about the baby!! She is doing fine, thanks!!

Happy to share some fab news about Blue Bloods! It’s been getting on some great lists and has been nominated for several awards, woo hoo!

You know I love me a gold statue or a blue ribbon…

TAYSHAS Reading List – The book is listed in the Texas Library Association’s Yearly List of Recommended Books – Yay!
Ellies -Given by the Teens at the Madison, Alabama library. Short for Most Popular Library Items – nominated for the “Fang” award – Best YA Vampire Book – Yay!
Cybils – The Book Blogger Awards – nominated under the Sci/Fi-Fantasy Category – Yay!
ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers – nominated – Yay!

Now for the real news…’s not glam either!!! My god, if everyone who wanted a baby knew how much WORK was involved, I don’t think anyone would ever have children. Even with nannies and nurses, the BUCK STOPS AT MOM (AND DAD).

It’s been such a shock to the system, when they say “it changes your life” I had no idea it meant “it changes your life”.

As in…

Every meal I have ever eaten since she was born has been COLD. Why? Because when the food is ready (ie delivered), I’m either feeding her or changing her or putting her to sleep or a combo of all three.

I have dreds in my hair. It is sooo gross. DREDS. Me! Who conditions every day! Why, you ask? Because I have long hair now (It’s always been my dream to have long, straight Demi-Moore, head-cheerleader-Queen Bitch hair. Yes. Shut up. So I got my hair straightened.) Anyway, with looong hair, you need to be able to blow dry it so it looks good. But I have had NO TIME to blow dry. Instead I scoop it up in a messy bun while it’s wet. And what happens when you don’t blow dry or comb it out?? You get dreds!!! Ewwww. I would run to my stylist except I have to…feed the baby.

My fingernails are bitten down to the quick and it’s cuticle city. Which in and of itself is not too unusual since I’m a writer and although I love my weekly manicure, it doesn’t last long when you type all day and you HAVE to gnaw on SOMETHING when you don’t smoke anymore. BUT, my toe nails?? My precious pedicured feet? They look like something out of LORD OF THE RINGS. I mean, hobbit city. Gross. My baby is only six weeks old and I’ve been off my “maintenance” schedule (as in, maintaining one’s looks, very important if one is to look presentable to the world) for only a month and a half and already I look like a troll.

I wear the same five things every week. Me, who has four closets of clothes! One for shirts and pants. One for coats and jackets. One for formal dresses. One for day dresses. And yet, I wear the SAME five nursing shirts EVERY WEEK. I am so bored by my clothes I want to cry. But I can’t wear anything else because I have to FEED THE BABY.

I sometimes don’t leave the house for days. I mean DAYS will go by and all I see are the insides of my house. Granted, it’s a new house (we just moved to our Penthouse-in-the-Sky, I mean, our mid-century-modern-house in the Hollywood Hills.) By the way, I’m not bragging, I’m just PROUD. Because my husband is an architect. And it was seriously a PAIN because he was renovating the house while I was in my third trimester, and the house wasn’t ready until last week, which meant we were literally HOMELESS for months so we had to stay at my parents (which was fine) but it was SO HARD not to have a home, and then MOVING and then having the baby, anyway, it’s been chaos. And I harbored a deep, deep resentment against him because of the fact that our house WAS NOT DONE.

But anyway, it is now done and it is FRACKING FABULOUS. I walk around and have to pinch myself. It’s always been my dream to live in a fabulous modern house in the Hollywood Hills, and now I do…the house is all glass on all sides, and we are surrounded by trees and we have all these decks and foliage and the bathrooms are insanely luxurious, with yummy white and silver Marble and chocolate brown walls and we have this faaaaaabulous off-pink wallpaper in the baby’s room that a certain very, very famous designer (whom I can’t name since he’s a client) also has in his house and we have this gorgeous stone fireplace and these walls made out of the thinnest transluscent stone that when the light hits it is golden. The floors are this grayish silver ashy wood and the kitchen is a European system with all these cool doodads and concrete floors and the master bedroom is so big we have a second living room in it. With the fifty-inch plasma. I mean, it’s insane.

Mike and I have worked for every penny we have (well, OK, we have parents who love us enough to kick in some pretty big gifts/checks once in a while, but for the most part we are self-sufficient) so it’s just crazy to me that we live in this house.

I grew up in a pretty fracking faaabulous house in Manila, (custom built for my parents by the leading architect at the time) but I also know what it felt like to lose it. (We had to sell it when fortunes ran dry.) So part of me is like, we better never lose THIS house, man. Which is why, even with the breast feeding and the round the clock childcare, (um, did I mention our nanny quit after a day? loong boring story. But our new nanny starts after Christmas. THANK GOD) I still work? Because work means you get to live in a great house.

So it’s all worth it…

Anyway, speaking of work, I should get back to it while the baby is still sleeping…


Back in the Land of the Living. Childbirth, it’s not glam!

Well, THAT was an experience!!

I am, of course, talking about childbirth. The baby girl is now almost four weeks old and Mike and I are adjusting to our sleep-deprived lives as new parents. ADJUSTMENT is right. Did we have ANY idea how difficult it is to care for a newborn?? Hell no! The overwhelming emotion we felt upon leaving the hospital: OVERWHELMED. We were overwhelmed with overwhelment. I think we both looked like deer-caught-in-the-headlights people. Looking at our tiny, precious baby, all we could say to each other was: OH MY GOD. WHAT DO WE DO  NOW???

First off, I went into labor a week ahead of my due date. Which was bad, bad news since I was hoping to finish Au Pairs 4: Crazy Hot before the baby came. Which meant I was IN DENIAL about being in labor. My thinking was, "I can’t be in labor, I have a book due!"

But when your water breaks, you have to have your baby in twenty four hours due to the  risk of infection.

So off to Cedars-Sinai we went. It was all pretty surreal. Contractions actually weren’t as bad as I thought. I think it was because I had had a miscarraige, so I had experienced that crampy pain before. When we got to the hospital, I was already 4 cm dilated and 100 percent effaced (both terms those of you who have had children know the meaning, and those of you who don’t, I’ll spare the icky details. Just know it meant the baby was coming soon!). The nurse couldn’t believe I had gotten to 4cm all on my own without any drugs.

Mike and I proudly told her about all the Lamaze and breathing exercises we had done, which really really helped. So a few hours later, we were moved from our tiny pre-labor room into our labor and delivery room, complete with fab pullout couch and flat screen tv. Everything was clean and renovated and gorge. The contractions were becoming more and more painful but with the breathing, I was still able to bear it. Finally, when I was about 5.5 cm, I asked for the epidural.

I was always going to have the epidural. I’m not one of those freelovin natural birth ladies. Hell no! Give me drugs!!! I love Cedars because we went to this Epidural Class (they call it Pain Management Class) and the anesthesiologist told us the epidural was actually invented and perfected at Cedars and that they would make sure "I had a good time." Woohoo.

Epidural kicks in. It feels awesome. The monitor is showing huge contractions but all I feel is euphoric…I go to 7 cm, 8.5, 9, and finally 10. However, baby is still way up above in the pelvis, not even down to "zero station" which is where you can start pushing. My doctor had told us I might need a planned c-section because she was worried I wouldn’t be able to get the baby out, "baby is looking huge" she said.

The nurse and the OB/GYN resident check me out. Baby is in face-up position (not a great one for vaginal delivery). So they decide to WEAN me off the epidural to hopefully INDUCE the baby to come out. Of course, they do this WITHOUT telling me so gradually I start feeling some PAIN. Just out of the blue. Like in my NECK. Which is so weird. I totally didn’t even think it was part of labor, just the way I was lying on the hospital bed. But apparently it was.

So finally, after I whined and begged, they put me back on the epidural. Ahhh, Bliss…. Then four hours later, baby is still not coming down the pike, so they take me off again. And decide I should now try to push.

I have to say at this point, I was feeling EVERY contraction, and oh my goodness, that hurt like a MOTHER. It was seriously the most pain I have ever felt. It’s like being ripped in two. I think it wouldn’t have hurt so much if the baby actually was coming down. But she was stuck. And you know how they make you give birth now?

Well, let me tell you. First, a nurse holds one of your feet, and your husband holds the other. Then they tell you to push when you feel a contraction. Apparently I was not pushing the right way, because the doctor then had the nurse bring out A MIRROR. And hold it up to your YOU KNOW WHAT.

And the doctor keeps saying "Look at the head! Concentrate! Focus! Bring the baby out!"

And all I could think was, OH MY GOD, THAT IS SOOOO GROSS!!!! I can’t look at that!

Then they bring out this bar that you put your feet on and you try to push against it. All the while, with that mirror in your face.

All I can say is, I didn’t see the baby’s head. And I didn’t want to. Finally, after half an hour of pushing and pain. I was crying, sobbing, and seriously delirious..AND I have to add, totally NOT ON DRUGS. Which I did NOT want to be. Doctor finally said we had to have a c-section. And put me back on the epidural.

THANK THE LORD. It was such a relief to be back on the drip that the thought of a c-section was not that scary anymore. I was looking forward to it…

So they wheeled me into the operating room (the OR), they made Mike put on scrubs (he looked so cute in scrubs with the little plastic cap on his head) and off we went. Ok, so I have never had surgery before…did you know there are like TWENTY PEOPLE in the OR? There are so many doctors and assistants and nurses. It was a party in there.

And here’s what they do…they put you on this tiny little slab of a table (it was maybe two inches wider than I was). And they put you on there, NAKED. And while you’re lying there naked, all the people in the OR are just chatting, getting ready, sharpening their scalpels, whatever… and you’re like, just lying there naked. Totally surreal.

Then the anesthesiologist, a young guy with a really corny sense of humor (I’ll tell you the jokes he made later. Let’s just say the guy was no Dave Chapelle), switches you from an epidural to a full epidural block…which means you can’t feel anything from your neck down. And also, they make you lay your arms out to the side, so you look like Jesus on the Cross.

Then they put up the curtain, and get going. Fifteen minutes later, the baby was born. And oh my god, she was soooo beautiful. We cried, we took pictures, we kissed her madly. It was AWESOME. It made everything worth it. And she was so loud. A real screamer, which was great. Agpar nine! Six pounds and five ounces. 19 inches long. And gorgeous!!!!

Our family photo in the OR looks a lot like Anna Nicole Smith’s. So here’s Anna’s. Just picture me and Mike and baby in the place of Anna, lawyer/lover Howard and baby. Hee!

So apparently I had a fibroid the size of a baseball bat blocking her way down the pike, and also she had her hand to her face, that’s why it was so hard for her to come on down.

Finally we were sent to our room, and we had forgotten to request the VIP suites but whatever, they were all taken anyway, so we had to make do in a tiny little room, which I have to say, are NOT as nice as the labor and delivery rooms. NO flat screen.

I called my sister and she asked how I was doing, and I said i felt GREAT! No sweat!! She said, call me on day three, that’s when you start feeling it. Well, she was right. I forgot I was still on morphine. (Yummm morphine!) And I was even hallucinating a bit. But again, feeling NO PAIN so it was great.

The gross thing about having a c-section was that they don’t let you shower, since the wound is fresh, so I didn’t shower for FOUR DAYS. I was in the hospital on Sunday, and they didn’t let me shower until THURSDAY. On Wednesday my mom gave me a sponge bath since I was so grossed out by the LAYER OF GRIME on my body.

I had all these fantasies of having my friends visit, and being all cute and new-mom-glam in my cute new nursing outfits. But the reality was that I looked like a mess, my hair was a rats’ nest, and I was SWEATING in my hospital gown. Oh, also, when you come down from giving birth, your hormones work overtime, and I was like, having hot flashes. (Also, I got the shakes from labor. It was weird. And itch from the epidural. I felt like a heroin junkie.)

So yeah. Not very glam at all. Childbirth. It’s not glamorous.

Then we decided to room-in with the baby, so Mike and I were up every hour to feed and change her, and breastfeeding hurt like a MOTHER. My doctor visited us on day 3 and told us to send the baby to the nursery so we could get some rest. It was really really hard to send the baby to the nursery. I almost cried and couldn’t sleep. But it was also great to have some rest.

Anyway, I think I cried several times at the hospital just from the sheer enormity and intensity of the experience. Our pediatrician said it’s totally fine, all new moms cry a lot. Wow, I really sympathize with those post-partum depression sufferers. You are really happy to have a baby, but your hormones are so bonkers, you feel rage, emptiness, depression as well as joy and ecstasy.

I’m fine now. She’s the most precious thing to us. We sing her the Star Wars theme song to make her sleep. (Actually it’s the Imperial March.) And we call her "My Prehhhhshussss" as a joke as we hand her to each other. But seriously, she is just the cutest, most adorable and sweetest baby on earth!!!

I feel weird about blogging about my child. Although my writer friends tell me by the time she’s old enough to read this stuff, this stuff won’t even be online anymore. (Or will it?)

The hard part about new mommyhood is that I have all these deadlines I still have to finish, and it sucks because if I didn’t have to feed the kid every 2-3 hours, I could bang them out, but with the interruption, it’s hard to get the groove on. But, like anything, I’ve discovered that as long as you keep at it, the pages get chipped away, and I was able to turn in the first couple of chapters of AP4 to my editor this week and almost finish my horror story for Scholastic. PHEW. I thought my horror story was done but then I re-read it and I hated the ending so I rewrote it.

Sorry I have not been posting in a while. The shopping has ceased since I never leave the house, except to go to Target, where it seems I now must buy everything Behnaz Sarapfour has designed. And I’m so dying to go to Barneys since they have a sale… sigh. But with a newborn, who is being breastfed only, it’s impossible. (I am trying for supermom. I know, I have a martyr complex. I am going to start pumping though. But for now, I have not supplemented with formula. My sister is supermom. So I feel the pressure to live up to her standards since my nephews are beyond perfect.)

I just have to say, that having a kid has taught me IT’S NOT ABOUT THE STUFF. We have amassed SO MANY things for the kid. The Bugaboo and its accessories alone take up half the garage. So many clothes, so many toys, so many gadgets…. But I realized we bought all that stuff for us–for our ego (for my ego)…the kid is happy just to be near us and the most precious thing I can give her is my time and energy and love, and the stuff really doesn’t matter at all.

Especially when you realize all those cute baby clothes you bought from Saks have BUTTONS instead of SNAPS and are a BITCH to put on the baby. And so she is in Target couture – Carters jammies and undershirts.

Although I have to say, the Babystyle clothes are DIVINE. They are adorable AND comfy and come in the best colors. You HAVE to get the cocoa pants. They are the coolest shade of brown. And when we put them on her with the baby Splendid t-shirts, she looks like the coolest hipster.

She is too small yet for all the cute Marie Chantal and Tea and Jacadi outfits we bought her, so for now, it’s babystyle coupled with Carters style…

Breastfeeding is good for reading though…you can’t really do anything but hold the baby, so I prop her up on one hand and have a book in the other. So far I have finished A YEAR IN PROVENCE by Peter Mayle (whose daughter, Jane Mayle, owns the fabu label and store MAYLE), which was a great, escapist read and made me want to go live in an old farmhouse in Provence, Emily Giffin’s SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE, both the best kind of chick-lit novels, in that you read it and it totally reminds you of you and your friends…I bought them on a whim at Target, and I really really liked them. Go buy them! And Nora Ephron’s I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, which my mom lent me. And was a great read as well–very funny, especially the essay about her apartment.

I just bought a slew of fun YA novels that I have always been meaning to read but never got around to, like Meg Cabot’s AVALON HIGH, Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES trilogy, and some more fun chicklit like Karen Lutz’s THE BACHELORETTE PARTY. I had resisted buying these books because I am published by both HarperCollins and S&S and I thought I could just get them for free next time I go visit my editors. But fuckit. I won’t be in NYC until next spring, and I feel shy about asking editors for freebies all the time. Also, I’m a reader as well as a writer, and why shouldn’t I pay for books too?

I think I hear her crying, so I’m out for now.

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!


Book News/Publication Schedule for 2007!

Thought I would share what is going on with my publication schedule…

Au Pairs * Au Pairs: Skinny-Dipping * Au Pairs: Sun-Kissed

The new Au Pairs novel: CRAZY HOT comes out in stores in May 2007!!

Eliza’s opening her new boutique in the Hamptons, and Jeremy’s ready to take their relationship to a whole new level by placing a rock on her finger. But is it icebergs ahead? Mara has a hot new boyfriend–sweet, smart and intellectual, the “anti-Ryan”, but will the real Ryan steal back her heart? Jacqui gets involved with a photographer who’s even sexier than his British accent, but will the hard-working au pair let modeling get to her head? Find out all this and more as the series continues!

HOT HOT HOT MOVIE NEWS: The Au Pairs has been sold to Warner Brothers Studios!! Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films will co-produce with Alloy Entertainment. Stephanie Savage, writer-producer for The O.C. has signed on to write the script!


The sequel to BLUE BLOODS, MASQUERADE, comes out April 2007!!

Here’s the jacket copy:

Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help–her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly under way for The Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city’s wealthy, powerful and unhuman–a true Blue Blood affair. But it’s at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will change the course of a young vampire’s destiny.

Rich with glamour, attitude and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.



Check out MISTLETOE, a Holiday Romance collection – I have a really cute story in it about a girl, a boy and a pair of Christmas Choos (as in Jimmy). It’s out now and makes a really great Holiday present!


FEBRUARY 2007!!!

My new Los Angeles based series, ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD, comes out February 2007!

Angels on Sunset Boulevard is about a cool girl from the Hollywood flats, a cute preppie boy from Bel-Air, a beautiful and brooding rockstar named Johnny Silver, and the mysterious disappearance of teens all over LA who are all involved in a shadowy cult.

Sexy. Dark. Illicit. It’s all there in the ANGELS’ story.


21 PROMS: Twenty-one of your favorite teen writers share their prom stories. Mine is the real story of my Senior Prom, a guy named Patrick, a fifth of whiskey, and me… (hint: he threw up all over my prom dress, but he was so cute I didn’t even care!). Hilarity and sadness abound.

For older readers:

JUNE 2007!!!

GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS: True Tales of Love, Lust and Friendship between Gay Men and Straight Women. An anthology I co-edited with my dear friend Tom Dolby. Contributors include Simon Doonan, Ayelet Waldman, Gigi Grazer, Cindy Chupack, and many more fabulous writers! This is a funny and heartfelt collection about gay boys and the straight gals who love them. NOTE: This is an adult book, with some sexual content that might not be appropriate for younger readers. (Ok, now I sound like some kind of censor, but I just want to warn any of the squeamish out there.)

For younger readers:

OCTOBER 2007!!!

THE ASHLEYS: The four most popular seventh-graders at the Hamlin school in San Francisco are all named Ashley, except for one, Laura, whose dad suddenly made it big in Silicon Valley. Will she ever fit in even though she has the wrong name? Find out in this hot new series about private school one-upmanship–from Chanel Black Satin nail polish to the right height for knee-high socks, to updated Spin-the-Vitamin-Water-Bottle scandals, you’ve never met twelve year-olds as sophisticated as THE ASHLEYS.

And that’s all she wrote, folks!

Coming in 2008: MY HOT NEW SERIES: SOCIAL LIFE, about three jet-setting teens and their adventures around the globe!

Stay tuned for more news!


Speakeasy Roundup, Behnaz at Target!

Huff, Huff, Huff. I’m going through all your emails now. Right now I’m on the July emails. I just have to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HAS WRITTEN ME. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! It really warms my heart that you guys like the books so much, and that you’ve taken the time to write me to tell me so. I am deeply touched and very tickled.

When I was a teen, I wrote to Duran Duran, and I never got anything back but a fan newsletter, which was nice, but not quite the response to my fifteen-page two-sided declaration of LOVE that I was hoping for. So I definitely make an effort to respond personally to every email. I hope to continue to do this even as the emails pile up, it might take more than a couple of months for me to get back to you, but please know that I am trying my best to respond personally to each email.

Last night we went to the superfun LA YA Speakeasy by the fab gals at, which was really fun. Got to meet the awesome Cecil Castellucci, the gorgeous Jordan Roter, the fab Rachel Cohn, the legendary Francesca Lia Block (who has AWESOME taste in shoes! Hers were black patent platforms!) and tons more very nice authors. We writers did a Dada game called “Exquisite Corpse” wherein each of us got to write a few sentences of a story, but the trick was we could only see the one sentence before our own, so the story veered wildly in every direction and was quite funny.

It was our last gasp of socializing before the bebe is born…I really can’t even keep my eyes open for more than a few hours at a time. It seems all I do is sleep. Am trying to get as much of Au Pairs: Crazy Hot done before delivery, which is great escapism since I am so far from bikini ready right now.

In other news, the Behnaz Sarapfour collection is at Target!!! I loooove Behnaz and so of course had to haul ass to Target. The fake Persian lamb coat is exquisite, as is the lace sweater and several of the silk shirts. Deevine. And everything so cheap! I’m trying to be good this time though, and not buy EVERYTHING. I still haven’t even worn all the Paul & Joe stuff I bought, let alone all the Luella stuff. So this time I’m going to be a bit picky. Which is hard when Behnaz is going for $29. Girlfriend’s collection at Barneys is like, $700 for a shirt!


Happy Halloween! Don’t do Skankoween!

It’s Halloween weekend, which I only realized when I called a friend to invite him to go see Babel and instead he invited Mike and I to attend a slew of Halloween parties. It had completely slipped my mind! Unfortunately, being 8 1/2 months pregnant, I had to pass. Although as another friend said, this is the opportune time to be "Rosemary" from "Rosemary’s Baby" for Halloween. All I’d need is a short blond wig, a short mod dress and I’m set! If only… but right now I fall asleep at nine pm, so all I will be doing on Halloween is giving out candy to the cute trick or treaters.

Mike and I looove Halloween. We always dress up, although no one ever "gets" my costumes. See, instead of the skankoween costumes that are so popular nowadays (Halloween is a time when good girls can go slutty, according to the New York Times and Mean Girls), I like to dress up as my favorite model/socialite. One year I went as "The House of Chanel" – my best gay friend Morgan was Karl Lagerfeld complete with sunglasses, fan and ponytail, and I was Shalom Harlow in my black-and-white Chanel-esque suit jacket and slim pants and tons of fake pearls. I looked fabulous! Then there was the year Morgan went as Andy Warhol and I went as Jackie O., I wore a peach Schiaparelli-esque suit, a pillbox hat and white gloves. The year after that I went as Babe Paley. I wore a Pucci-esque shift dress, had my hair done in a bouffant and wore necklaces as a big bracelet. Yeah, no one recognized me as Babe Paley. (It was more like, um, WHO is Babe Paley?)  Last year I went as Mary-Kate Olsen, in an oversized sweater, leggings, big sunglasses and Venti Starbucks.

My friend Pete who in the 90s owned this fabulous loft in SoHo, (a total wreck of a place, this was right before the real estate boom) would throw a Halloween party every year and I remember sitting there in my Jackie O drag and this annoying girl from colllege sidled up to me–you know one of THOSE girls, whom all the boys liked and all the girls despised and she was total skankoween — she was a "devil" in a tiny little red dress and devil horns. (Ugh. Puke. Yucko.) And she asked me who I was supposed to be, and I just rolled my eyes and ignored her in true Jackie O. fashion.

Good news: I got the galley copies of MASQUERADE, A Blue Bloods novel, and they are fan-frigging-tastic!! They look sooo good. I can’t wait for April! This is the first sequel to Blue Bloods, number two in the series. I’m dreaming up Book Three right now…

I’ve got to go through the copyedit of Masquerade now, I sent back Angels on Sunset Boulevard on Friday, and then copyedit of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys is coming on Tuesday, so it’s copyedit craziness over here. In the middle of writing Au Pairs: Crazy Hot! And my story for the horror collection, which I hope to finish tomorrow.

Is anyone going as a Blue Blood vampire?? Oooh… do let me know!



My book rocks!! If I do say so myself..

I ‘m sitting here going through the copyedit for ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD, my new trilogy coming out from Simon & Schuster in February 2007. This book was a bitch to write, in that I wanted to write about so much: Los Angeles, cults, the Internet, skateboarding, rockstars, private school vs. public school, cars, identity, love, loyalty, friendship, music and magic. So in June I turned in a draft that had all of that and the kitchen sink, but no semblance of a plot, and my amazing editor helped me streamline the story and figure out what the book was really ABOUT.

And now I’m looking at the lean and mean pages, and I am just BURSTING with pride. After months and months of thinking my work is shit, now I think it’s THE shit. Which is awesome. Because if writers can’t please themselves, how can they please their readers? And we all write for ourselves, don’t we? For our own amusement and entertainment. So that we can cackle madly at the keyboard. I write the stories I want to read…(as opposed to writing the songs the whole world sings).

Plus, if you haven’t already – go log on to the Harper Teen Fan Lit site, and join the contest! I will be blogging on Tuesday, Oct 24th so come stop by and check it out!

Also, I will be part of this fun LA YAs Speakeasy Pajama Party with all these fab peeps on Sunday, October 29th. Come in your PJs and hang out! (Although I don’t know if I will come in PJs, who wants to see a pregnant lady in her shortie nightgown? I think I will stick to my fall uniform of Vince tunic and Gap leggings and Louboutin platforms.)

Here’s who’ll be there:

Cecil Castellucci ( The Queen of Cool ), Dana Reinhardt ( A Brief Chapter In My Impossible Life ), Jordan Roter ( Girl in Development ), Kerry Madden ( Gentle’s Holler ), Mark L. Williams ( Danger Boy ), Melissa de la Cruz ( The Au Pairs ), Sally Nemeth ( The Heights , The Depths and Everything In Between ), Amy Goldman Koss ( Poison Ivy, Side Effects ), Rachel Cohn ( Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist , Two Steps Forward ) and Francesca Lia Block (Weetzie Bat)–Woohoo!

LA YA Pajama Party Smart Gals Literary Speakeasy!

Sunday, October 29th 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Mt. Hollywood Underground 4607 Prospect Avenue, Los Feliz

Admission: $7.00 (general), $5.00 (members) Bookmarks: $10.00, purchased separately Information and passwords: (dinky hocker shoots smack!)

323.302.2257 or

Hope to see you there!



Baby and Fall Shopping Time

It’s Manic Baby Shopping Time over here. Baby Countdown is 36 weeks today! I’m “Full-Term” which means the bambina can come anytime now…EEEK!!! We are NOT ready! First off, I have to finish Au Pairs 4: CRAZY HOT, which I’m hoping to deliver the week before I really deliver. As well as a horror short story for a collection put out by Scholastic next year. (Mine is about a girl and a hot ghost–oh yeah, a crazy hot ghost!) I’m really into the new Au Pairs title, as you can see..

On Saturday Mike and I ran over to the Juvenile Shop in Sherman Oaks, which is the only store in Los Angeles that sells the David Netto Collection. The David Netto Baby Furniture Collection has been an obsession for the last several months. I had originally opted to buy the new “CUB” line, which was lower-priced and more affordable, and very cute, but when I heard the CUB isn’t going to be available until DECEMBER, and the baby is coming in NOVEMBER, we decided we should buy the real Netto stuff instead of the “bridge-line” Netto.

My dear friend Karen (co-Fashionista author) knows my obsession with this as we have been emailing back and forth the advantages and disadvantages of Netto Collection vs. CUB for many many months now. But you know what? The Netto stuff wasn’t that great. It was a bit of a disappointment, as we had planned to order the Netto Loft line, but we didn’t like the stain on the wood–it looked pretty cheap (and at $1200 it shouldn’t be!). The best was the Netto Case collection, which is the most high-end. But $1600 for a crib just seemed a bit…too self-indulgent. Also, the furniture looked very heavy. If you are interested in more high-end nursery stuff, (and my, high-end can go all the way to $2000 to $3000 for a crib!) there’s which stocks a lot of that stuff. I like the Ducduc Modern crib and the Ooba crib too.

We decided to go with the Oeuf line – crib ($850), changing table ($212), dresser ($895) and bookshelf ($580). In walnut. It was about $1000 more than the full CUB line, but looked a lot more substantial and very chic. Also more “baby-ish” in Mike’s words–as in much cuter somehow. And we got the MOD DOTS in pink crib set ($295) from Dwell. As well as a Dwell baby bib ($35) and a “Flat Bear” ($45) made out of Australian sheepskin and dyed black – so that it looked like it was made of mink. So fab!

Then on to babystyle, where we picked up our Bugaboo. Yes. Shut up. We got a Bugaboo. One of the signs of the Apocalypse apparently. Sure, you could go with a McLaren or a Peg Perego. But we who are trendy label-lovers are Bugaboo people. You have to know who you are in life, and shop accordingly. I mean, I’m 9 months pregnant and I’m rocking a cashmere tunic top, cropped leggings, and Chloe platforms. I don’t think it’s the best look for prego peeps, since the big-ass bump kind of ruins the long, lean line. (In fact, I suspect I look a little Edina-ish. Mike and I looked at my reflection in this outfit and we both burst out laughing. It doesn’t quite work.) But I love that I can still participate in fashion… We got the Bugaboo Cameleon ($879) in Sand for both the base and the fleece.

The Sand I think is the most “architectural” looking, since Mike is a major beige kind of guy. I wanted to get the Pink and the Gray, but the combo didn’t look that good actually. I was also thinking that if we have Kid Number Two, and it’s a boy, we wouldn’t want to be stuck with a pink Bugaboo. A friend of mine, who is also pregnant and also got the Bugaboo (in green and black) said I should get the pink because by the time Kid Number Two comes around, there will be some NEW Bugaboo (“The Alligator!”) that I’m going to want. But in the end, we decided the stroller actually looked better with all one-color. Then I also got the Sunshade ($24), the Sun Canopy ($39), the Parasol ($40), the Carrying Case ($120) and the Footmuff ($130). The stroller is a gift from Mom, (Mom you owe me $879) and the Footmuff is a gift from my brother (Chit, you owe me $130). So really, we didn’t spend that much.

We also picked up the Primo Viaggio Car Seat from Peg Perego ($250) in Toffee to match our sand-colored Bugaboo. A gift from Mike’s mom. (Mike’s mom already gave us the $250).

This is why it is great to be an older parent – you can afford all the fun stuff! Along with having family who love to give gifts! If I was 25 and pregnant, there is no way we would be able to buy all this. We’d have to scrimp and count our pennies and how lame is that?

For the baby’s room we chose a fabulous wallpaper from Innovations – the Gelato in Mango, which is actually a really light pink. The wallpaper is all natural fiber (most wallpapers are made of vinyl apparently) so it’s good for babies’ rooms. And my dear friend Kim DeMarco gave us a framed original print from her work on Cat’s Meow (my first novel that she illustrated) that shows Cat as a little girl for the baby’s room. It’s so beautiful and awesome and it’s going in the place of honor. We’re putting the Eames rocker in the room too. I remember reading about a MOMA curator, who bought his twins Eames walnut stools ($749 each) for their birthday, and a friend said to him, “Oh did they turn eighteen?” His answer, “Actually, they turned six.” Love that!

Oh, and we also got the Ooba Nest Bassinet in walnut ($500) for our room since the baby will sleep with us for the first couple of months.

Then we ran over to the Fred Segal sale, which was ending, and Mike got two Yves Saint Laurent trousers ($500 each), Edun jeans ($200), Yanuk jeans ($180) and Yves Saint Laurent shirt ($500) but everything was 75 percent off so it was only $400 for everything. I got a Pucci bag ($925) and Chloe shorts ($600) and a Rozae Nichols leather jacket ($1000) and got Mike two other shirts Commes des Garcons ($450) and Martin Margiela ($400) – again, at 75 percent off, so it was less than the original cost of the Pucci bag. Craziness!

We got all dolled up for dinner and Mike pointed out that everything he had on was from either from 1) The Outlet 2) Century 21 or 3) The Fred Segal Sale. Which cracked me up. We love our labels but we love our bargains more. And seriously, he looked really good. I don’t know why people continue to shop full-price at Banana Republic, when you can buy Saint-Laurent at the outlet for the same amount of money. It looks soooo much better. In fact, almost all of our clothes come from big designer sales. We have spent full-price on some items (Mike’s $500 Prada dress shirts from Barneys- which we send to this couture cleaner all the way in Brentwood–come to mind) but that’s it. And those full-price shirts are like, treasured, man. Treated like gold.

God, I love to shop. Then today I went to Barneys to buy my friend a birthday present, and of course I had to pick up stuff from my fall shopping list. I got the Louboutin booties ($950) in black calf leather (sooo zexy!), and Louboutin patent-leather Mary Jane platforms ($710) in black, two Vince cashmere tunics (the V-neck in black and the cowl neck in beige) $250 each, and several Vince long-sleeved t-shirts to wear under them. Picked up a couple more cropped leggings ($20 from the Gap) and I’m done. That’s all I needed to update the look, as they say. I was going to stop by Hermes to check on either the black Kelley or black Birkin but I was too exhausted from running from Saks to Barneys to Neimans that I just went home. The Vince sweaters look pretty good, even with the bump, so I’m psyched. I still want a Stella McCartney oversized sweater as well, but again, was too tired to drag myself over to Beverly Boulevard to her boutique, so I’ll save that for next time.

The other day Mike bemoaned the fact that I don’t cook anymore. I’m a pretty decent cook, and in New York, I cooked a lot, but with my insane book deadlines (I wrote four books this year), we had an agreement that I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about not doing anything domestic. I don’t even go grocery shopping anymore. There is just no time. I asked him if he would expect me to cook and clean if I was just a stay-at-home-wife who didn’t work and he said, “Of course!” So THANK THE LORD I actually contribute to the household income. Because all I am expected to do is write the books and shop. Not a bad life if you can get it, girls!


Rants and Raves, and News on the Chat

The chat was really fun! Although the chatsite (hosted by Chatzy) was a little wonky…it’s October so we must blame it on goblins. Thanks to everyone who was there!

Here’s what I revealed in the chat: The character of Oliver in the Blue Bloods series is based on my best friend from college (who was cute and sweet and I had a total crush on him). The question was, is anyone in your books based on real people? Oliver is the only one. Everyone else is completely made up, although I like to think they have a part of me in each of them…Oh, wait…In the Au Pairs, Ryan Perry is based on the two cutest guys I know in New York, both of whom are totally hot and sweet in a different way, with a sprinkling of my husband (who it goes without saying, is the hottest and sweetest guy of all of course) thrown in there as well.

Yesterday Mike and I saw The Departed, which was excellent. We haven’t seen such a great movie in years – action-packed and REALLY funny, in a totally unexpected way. We were very happy to see the screenwriter credit–our friend William Monahan wrote it! Bill was a writer for the New York Press during the same time I was writing for them, and we met him about a handful of times, usually at one of the bacchanalian Christmas or summer parties. A really cool, funny guy. One of our favorite writers, deadpan, witty, and totally real. (One of his lines that we always repeat to each other is: “Supreme Dictator of Chad sunglasses” to describe a certain kind of aviator. Can’t you SEE it? And how funny is that?) So it was not a surprise that he wrote that movie, as it had his signature humor all over it. What’s the opposite of schadenfreude? That’s what we were feeling–a happy glow knowing good things were coming to someone who so deserved it.

I also wanted to blog about two books that I recently finished: Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia, and Andrea Lee’s Lost Hearts in Italy. Julie and Julia was AMAZING. It was so raw, earthy and funny and touching. I was crying by the end–it’s such a great memoir of what it’s like to be poor and struggling and aspirational in New York…I so remember what living in a shitty apartment was like. There was the one in the West Village, that leaked from four different places in the ceiling, so we would have all these pots and pans all over the place to catch the dripping water, which we HOPED was from the clean pipes. Then there was the one on the Upper West Side where the entire ceiling in the living room and the bedroom caved in–at different times, and fortunately, not when we were there. And yet I lived in these apartments for YEARS–they were both rent-stabilized, so my rent was very reasonable compared to my friends who were paying market rates.

Lost Hearts in Italy was great too, but for a totally different reason–all about living in Rome, and has all these awesome details about ex-pat living… I like Andrea Lee’s writing a lot, mostly because her heroines are these totally sophisticated and fabulous women of color or mixed race. Everyone is always either half-Swiss and half-Vietnamese or from a prominent black Philadelphia mainline family, and lives in Hong Kong or London or Geneva. Droool…

Anyway, I was at Target today, and I happened upon that book “This is Not Chick Lit” and I was about to put it in my cart until I started reading Elizabeth Merrick’s introduction. And her introduction TURNED ME OFF SO MUCH that I got so annoyed and put the book down. I think all that sniping over chick lit is so silly, and I like authors in both anthologies “This is Chick Lit” and “This is Not Chick Lit”, and I had been meaning to buy the “This is Not” book for a while.

But then I read her intro, about how chicklit is like, responsible for the LACK of books from “real” women writers (or whatever she calls the “literary” writers) in this screechy, harsh, almost HYSTERICAL tone, and I just got mad. She’s not getting my eight bucks, sorry. I buy, read and enjoy a lot of literary fiction, and I am called a chicklit writer, and I don’t mind it. But I’m not going to have someone insult me to my face or tell me that my books are the reason some “real” writers are not getting published. Isn’t “literary” just another genre? The sad-everyone-dies-unhappy-ending genre? I mean, c’mon.

And is Andrea Lee a literary writer because she writes for the New Yorker? Yes, right? And Julie Powell was “just” a blogger. But Julie Powell I thought was the stronger writer…her book was a lot more real and tough and not pretentious in the least. Whereas Lost Hearts in Italy has a frigging billionaire in it, for goddsakes. The staple of the bodice-ripper fiction. Just with better adjectives and better observations, maybe. So which one is chicklit? I don’t mean to bash Andrea Lee at all, I thoroughly enjoyed her book and want to go buy her backlist now. This is why all this Chick Lit vs. Non Chicklit shit is so annoying… Good writing is good writing, whatever genre it is. And it’s all genre in my humble opinion.

And why put down a type of book that people like to read?? Don’t they know that women who read chick lit also read lit lit or whatever they want to call those books that don’t have pink covers? Readers are omnivorous types, and to assume otherwise is pretty narrow-minded if you ask me. I read everything: chick, literary, mystery, sci-fi, memoirs, YA, etc. I’m gazing at my shelves and I see Harry Potter, Three Junes, Confessions of a Not It Girl, The Acid House, Stephen King’s On Writing, The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde…

Well, that’s enough of a rant for today.



Just a reminder about the CHAT TONIGHT!!

I’m the guest author at the Ya Authors Cafe chat tonight, October 10th, from 5:30-6:30 PM PST/8:30-9:30 PM EST.

Come stop by and chat with me! It’s a Blue Bloods chat (because it’s October!) but I can talk about anything and everything…The Au Pairs, Fashionista Files, to Birkin or not to Birkin, etc.


And yes, Cassie E., I will try to get an archive of the chat and post it here or at least link to the one on the YA authors cafe site!

Fab Mistletoe Review in Publishers Weekly!

We got a GREAT review for MISTLETOE in the latest issue of Publishers Weekly!

Four Holiday Stories by Hailey Abbot, Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman and Nina Malkin
Scholastic Point

Four short stories center on love during the holidays, ranging from a Jewish girl who finds the guy of her dreams while working as a department store elf, to a supernatural story about a hot celebrity who learns what is really important one New Year’s, after meeting a mysterious girl. Of this quartet with familiar themes (holiday loneliness, redemption in the New Year), de la Cruz’s twist on Gift of the Magi is perhaps the best of the lot. Her smart updates involve Jimmy Choo shoes and Kelsey’s determination to “look just as good” as the rich snobs attending her friend Gigi’s Christmas Eve/Sweet 16 party. Readers will sympathize with Kelsey, who overhears the rich girls making fun of her clothes, and will be touched when it’s Kelsey who learns the lesson. Readers may well predict how each tale will end, but enjoy them just the same.

WOO HOO!! I worked REALLY HARD on that story, and it’s so great to know they liked it. (They really liked it – as Sally Field says.)

And in other great news– Tom and I are turning in the final draft of GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS tomorrow and we have a fabulous cover that we will post very soon…as soon as we figure out how to do those things. I just realized almost no one can see the Masquerade cover, so I’m going to have to ask my Webmistress to help me with that…

Have a happy week everyone!