SUN-KISSED is Shipping! From and B&!

Got a nice surprise today–found out that the third Au Pairs book, SUN-KISSED is now shipping from Amazon and B&! Wow! The book isn’t supposed to be out until June 1st, but I guess they got early copies and are now sending them out. I haven’t seen copies in the stores yet, so if you want an early copy of the book, order from Amazon or B&N!

Yesterday I felt soo dead, I was in New York for five days, and I had post-partum New York depression. The city was my home for 15 years, and though I go back every other month or so, visiting five or six times a year isn’t enough to get my New York fill. We decided to move to Los Angeles two years ago when we found out my dad had cancer.

It wasn’t a hard decision at all–we found out in June, and by October, we were in L.A. Nothing is more important than family, and even though I had SWORN up and down I would never leave New York, that I would raise my kids there, that I was a New Yorker through-and-through, when it came down to it, my heart was elsewhere. Our move was such a blur–and back then, when people asked me what I would miss most about the city, I always answered, “Everything.” And that’s still true…

Mike and I know we will be back one day, at least, we are hoping to buy a little apartment in Manhattan that we can always call home. Don’t get us wrong, we love our hotel life, but having a NY address matters a lot to me.

It’s funny because the things I miss most about New York are such little things–like the cheap egg-and-ham breakfast sandwiches at the corner deli (which you CANNOT find in L.A. – corner deli, what’s that?), rice and beans from La Rosita, the Cuban restaurant up in our old neighborhood, the Chinese food from Ollie’s — my sister said, you traveled all the way to New York to eat at Ollie’s? Yes, I did.

The cheap Chinese food here in L.A. sucks!! There is really great authentic Chinese food in Pasadena, Arcadia, Monterey–but they are thirty to forty-five minutes from Hollywood. I also missed how I got to know everyone on our business block (we lived on 101st on Riverside, and I did all my dry-cleaning, deli-shopping, newspaper-buying, etc on Broadway b/w 101st and 102nd)–I would literally walk down that little stretch and wave to everyone from the Korean dry cleaner to Jerusalem Gyro. It was like living in Sesame Street.

I was in SUCH a good mood while we were in the city, even though we were there for such a short time. On Monday, I was part of a panel of “Three Extraordinary Columbia Writers” for the Columbia College Women’s Alumni Group. I spoke about writing with fellow CC grads Jennifer Anglade, whose novel is Uptown and Down, and Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies’ Auxiliary. It was really fun to go back and be on a panel at my old school, and we had a great crowd of students and alumni.

One of the questions I was asked was how do I work, and I kind of gave this rambling answer of how when I was at college, I was a procrastinator, and I have taken that lovely habit with me into the publishing world. Nothing gets done until the VERY last minute. Blue Bloods, for example–it was a hard book to write because I was really worried about the ending, and for the longest time while I was writing it, I was in a fog as to how the book would shape up. I remember EXACTLY when it all crystallized. I had 48 hours to deliver the final draft, and in those 48 hours, I figured out the book and sweated it out and finished it. It was crazy. And even then, after we published the galley, I still had to rewrite the book 24 hours before turning in the third-pass proofs–which is why there are 20 more pages in the final book than the galley.

So, I guess what I am saying is, if you are writing a book and it still is not clear, and you have 300 pages, DO NOT WORRY. It happens to the best of us, and it will come to you at the end.

It was really fun to chat about writing with other writers, thanks to Elena Cabral CC93 for inviting me! And check out Jennifer and Tova’s books – you will enjoy them!

The next night was the big PARTY. Oh. My. God. It was awesome!! I wore my Sass and Bide tunic, my skinny jeans, and these blinged-out South Sea pearls with diamonds that my mom bought me for Christmas (I’m such a lucky gal). And I also wore a little black jacket over the tunic. We had about three hundred people, or more–I know we had three hundred gift bags, and they are all gone, so we must have had that much…

My folks at S&S wore pink “Celebrate” Sun-Kissed t-shirts in the same font as the invitation, and my folks at Hyperion wore black with pearl necklaces for Blue Bloods appeal. Lexi Lehman and Kelly Brady from Lizzie Grubman PR made sure we had tons of fabulous teenagers there, as well as great press. And a few of my readers emailed me to say they came to the party, but were too shy to say hello. No worries! I’m TOTALLY the same way. Everyone did such a great job, the club, CRUSH, was such a hot space, and the music was getting everyone up on the dancefloor. It was also so great to see all of my friends there–another HUGE reason I miss New York–it felt so much like being home.

We had makeovers from the fab folks at Daniel McFadden, and shopping at Shop Caravan, which everyone enjoyed. There was a bit of a snag, sadly, with the fashion show which didn’t happen (don’t all fashion shows have drama?), the pink carpet (our um, sponsor, ElleGirl, their magazine got folded, and well, no more pink carpet for us!), and the blow outs (the electrical outlets did not work). It was kind of like a wedding in that way–you know, some things just aren’t going to happen–and it was totally fine. Next time, we’ll just be more prepared, although really, you can’t predict when your magazine is going to get killed, can you?

But the goodie bags were stuffed to the brim! Everyone loved their Paris Hilton cellphone holders (which a friend said were “surprisingly really chic!”), donna l’oren sexy camisoles, Prive hair products, Tarte liplgosses, ELF makeup, Ferragamo Dream Incanto perfume and copies of Sun-Kissed, Blue Bloods and paperback Skinny-Dipping.

For me, it was a whirlwind. I get really high at events like these, and I even did a little interview for a documentary that was being filmed at the party for two teens who attended. (I’ll let you know when it airs, and if I’m still in it!) I have published eight books now, and each of my books has been celebrated with at least one party (our How to be Famous book had six parties I think). I think I get the celebration gene from my grandmother and my mom, both of whom believe in always making a big deal of everyone’s birthday and graduation.

I remember my fifth birthday party was in the family compound in Manila, and there were carnival rides, huge pinatas, hundreds of people, and I was decked out in a pink ruffled dress down to my ankles, with a matching pink parasol I twirled around. Talk about being a princess! So really, having grown up like that, how can I *not* have a party for my books?

I’m still waiting for the pictures on the disk from our photographer, and once I have those, I’ll post them.

Tonight I have another fun event–I’m judging a student fashion show at Long Beach State! I was invited by a MySpace friend, and I’m sooo excited to have a Project Runway experience! I promise I will be as fair as Nina Garcia! 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!