Monthly Archives: April 2008

Hob-Nobbing at the Chateau!

Hey Beautiful People,

Calm down, calm down. I have not sent out the sneak-peeks yet! I am waiting to get a clean, copy-edited version from my publisher (which should happen very soon!) So I would say, look for it in a month or so. I know what you’re thinking A MONTH?? A FRACKING MONTH???

But please! Patience!

Patience will be rewarded.

I have to say I’m really jazzed with all the excitement however. I get excited too. And I wrote the thing!

I’ve been MIA because I just turned in the final draft of Book Four in the Ashleys series: Lipgloss Jungle and am deep into the first drafts of both Angels on Sunset Boulevard 2: THE STRIP and GIRL STAYS IN THE PICTURE (which is my new summer series—it used to be called Social Life). But you know, all work and no blog makes Mel a dull girl.

And man I’ve been up to utter fabulousness lately! Last Monday we were invited to party with Jade Jagger at the Chateau Marmont! I have friends in fab places—a dear friend of mine is a grand poo-bah at LVMH, the company that sponsored the party (Belvedere vodka), and so we were invited to dine with ninety of Jade’s closest friends (we were counted in that number, natch) and so on Monday, I put on my new Marni five-inch patent platforms—glossy black and the palest yellow and the coolest shade of gray, my gray studded Vena Cava mini-dress, my SPANX tights and a black Chloe blazer, and Mike put on his new Gucci corduroy coat and skinny YSL jeans and his Miu Miu shirt and off we went.

It was a really fun party because it was so intimate, and they had all of the lobby of the hotel and the gardens, which were gorgeous, all these candles and crystal everywhere in the greenery. There was this cool silver Venetian mirror and they wrote down all the people at the table so you could see who was expected at the party and where you were seated. We were in the number two table, next to Jade’s. Jonah Hill from Superbad and his entourage were at our table—- and it was TOTALLY like an episode of Entourage—just a bunch of young scruffy guys just PSYCHED to be there, and Bail Ling and her boyfriend were next to us. Bai Ling is that somewhat hilarious Asian actress who is famous for appearing in tabloid papers’ “WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?” wardrobe critiques. I’m happy to report she looked quite chic and lovely that night, in a great little black dress and heels.

The Hiltons were there—it was our second Nicky sighting in a month—too funny! She was wearing a black dress from Jade’s new line, and had her hair up. Her legs are very tan. And Paris was there, looking gorgeous. You know, I have to say, I saw the pictures from the party of all these people and the pictures really don’t do them justice. They are SO much prettier in person. Paris has like a seventeen-inch-waist. She is TINY. And so fragile and delicate looking. She has this very chic blonde bob now, and she was wearing this very sparkly chiffon dress and looked every inch like a star. We also saw Rachel Zoe, the stylist, looking fab in a down-to-there maxi dress, very tan, very 70s-Halston-y. And Alana and Kimberly Stewart, both very blonde and in very tight dresses.

Oh and Jade was very beautiful, of course, her mom is Bianca Jagger, so you know, good genes to start with. She was also wearing some kind of 70s hippie flowing dress of some sort. The crowd was very New York for LA, lots of couture, lots of great clothes, very very chic. Usually you go to LA parties and it’s a little bit of the hoochie-chic. But this was so not that starlet crowd. It was very New Yorky in that there were a lot of fun fashion people. And we smoked and drank and had a blast. When you go to these things, there’s just this contented buzz in the air from being in such a magical place, and surrounded by famous people. I’m sure the Vanity Fair Oscar parties are like that times like, a million. You just get high off all the fabulousness.

We left after dinner at the same time as the Hiltons did, which was kind of funny because as we were getting int our car, Paris and Benji Madden (oh yeah, it was totally US Weekly in the flesh!) were getting into theirs, and a couple of paparazzi just JUMPED out of the bushes in front of us, totally scaring the SH_T out of us, and then we just began to giggle because we were kind of blocking their shot. I have to say, getting papped is kind of scary and pretty yucky in the end—I actually felt sorry for Paris and Nicky as the photographers clamored around their cars. It’s just very…rude and aggressive and kind of violent. And yeah, okay, famous people should expect it as part of their job, but really, Sean Penn, yeah, he makes sense now. (For those of you who don’t remember the 80s Sean was famous for fighting with paparazzi when he was married to Madonna.)

Anyway, totally bought up at storm at Barneys too. Got the Balenciaga floral camouflage gladiators. The Marni platforms. Then a blue sparkly jersey dress from Geren Ford and a cool knit one from Mayle. Then got a couple of sundresses from this boutique on Montana, a black one and another yellow one, with big jewels sewn into it, and then these cool knit flowy pants from Vivienne Tam, a black shirtdress from Nanette Lapore. Oh and I ordered a Goyard tote and got my name (MEL) and stripes customized on it (it should be available in six weeks!).

I’ve decided I’m not going to buy any more big designer-designer dresses and stick to high-end shoes and bags instead. I can justify a two-thousand dollar handbag, but a fifteen-hundred dollar dress? That seems crazy. Especially when you can buy a great Philip Lim dress for under $500. Speaking of, I bought one of his shirts he did for the Gap and it is just beautiful—great fit and so chic! I got the one with the rounded collar and the fluttery sleeves. And I bought one of those brown platform sandals that Pierre Hardy, who designs for Balenciaga, did for the Gap. Isn’t it great how they get all these designers to do their stuff for cheap?

So I think I’m all set for the summer. I’m going to bang out these books and then take a nice break. We’re going to the beach for the summer- we got a house in Ventura, it’s not the Hamptons, but what is. It’ll still be nice even though we miss our old Shelter Island house.

Hang in there, people. Buy stuff! Help the economy!


Subscribe to the Sneak Peeks!

Hey guys!

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? No? Well you should!

Because I am going to make it worth your while…

I will release the first chapter of Revelations exclusively to the Blue Bloods forum and newsletter subscribers!

Sure, I’ll post the first chapter here too, but I’ll do it a little before publication, while newsletter subscribers will get it much much sooner! I thought it would only be fair that those who really, really, really want to be able to find out a little bit of what’s going on with Schuyler in June!

And if you go to BookExpo you’ll get a sneakpeek of FOUR chapters!!! And the opportunity to meet me, your friendly neighborhood author. I’ll sign your book! You’ll take my picture! We will admire each other’s shoes! (Oh wait. That’s Fashion Week. Not BookExpo. LOL.)

And who knows? Newsletter peeps might get even more than one chapter. Because you know, I’m feeling generous.


Everyone needs an Outlet

It’s official! Blue Bloods III: REVELATIONS will be out October 28, 2008!

Just in time for Halloweeen!!!

And there is a Masquerade ball in the works! Will let you all know the deets as soon as they are finalized! Boo-yah!

I totally forgot to blog about the stuff I bought at Palm Springs. The reason we go to Palm Springs all the time, apart from the fact that my husband is building several houses there for clients, is that it is near THE OUTLET. I think it’s called some fancy name but in my family, we just call this outlet THE OUTLET because it is SO good. At least, it’s the best one on the West Coast, nothing beats the one in upstate New York, which in my family is only called WOODBURY. As in Are we going to Woodbury this trip? No trip to New York City is complete, for us, without driving TWO HOURS away to go shopping. In Woodbury they have Chanel, Dior, Gucci and many more. But at “the outlet” they have Dior, Gucci and Yves Saint-Laurent but not Chanel.

I was reminded of my bargain-shopping roots by going back to The Outlet. What with all this talk of recession and the weak dollar, it feels really yucky to spend a thousand dollars on Lanvin sandals while Rome burns. I have been lusting after these platform Yves Saint-Laurents which cost about $800 and I figured, they are NOT that different from last season’s. Maybe they’ll have something similar at the outlet. And lo and behold, they did. Mine are black and criss-cross patent on a gold 5 inch platform heel, and only cost $250! From $795! And I also bought these insane Gucci horse-bit five-inch espadrille platforms with the woven floral embroidery up the side. $350 from $995. And now I think I’m set for the summer.

Although this week is “purple card” week at Barneys. If you know what I mean, you are in as much trouble as I am with shopping. Remember, the more you spend the more you save!


Desert Girl

Just got back from another inveeeegorating weekend at the Parker Palm Springs. I heart that hotel. Mostly because of the grounds (so many fountains and fire-pits!) and the decor (Jonathan Adler – my friend Simon Doonan’s husband). Yes I like to drop names. Ker-chunk! But the service could stand to be a little more, um, serviceable. Like, this is the first time we’ve stayed at the Parker where our keys did NOT die. Usually what happens is, you go to the pool, you come back sopping wet to your room. You try your key. It does not work!! So you have to walk aaaallllllll the way back to the front building to get a new one. And by now you are very grumpy because this is, like, the FOURTH time this has happened in two days.

And I don’t know if I’m just imagining it, but the staff has a wee bit of attitude. Maybe because they were all on TV or something? I missed that show. So I have no idea if the valet is giving me the stink-eye because for one brief season he was a reality TV star, but I don’t really care. Because I want my car NOW mofo, because the baby is wailing and it’s fracking one hundred degrees outside.

That being said, I love that it gets really hot in the desert. We have been to Palm Springs almost every month now and I have NEVER even been to the beach! What does that say about me? I don’t need an ocean to zen out. In fact, I’ve always preferred a pool. Although I grew up in Manila and every summer we would abscond to the beaches and spend weeks just laying out in the sand, in our own private beach, and it was us and all my parents’ college friends and their kids and we just had the run of the place. And I have never seen a beach as beautiful as our beach—white sand, lush jungle just steps away, waterfalls, rafting, my parents smoking and drinking and wearing their cool sunglasses. One year one of the kids fell off the raft and almost drowned and I remember my dad putting out his cigarette and jumping in and saving him and then going back to sunning on the raft with a cocktail as if nothing had happened.

Maybe I can’t go to any other beach because it’s not private and not ours and since I grew up on a private beach all the ones I’ve ever been to (even the Princeville in Kauai which was like, just us and like, two German couples) just seems TOO CROWDED.

At the Parker there are always these beautiful gay men in their cool swim trunks. Why is it only gay men can get away with swim trunks? I think because they have the best bodies for it. Whereas straight guys have to wear the surfer jams. I think you have to be TONED to wear trunks. Even Mike, who’s like as skinny as he was back when we met twelve(!) years ago, has to wear jams to look cool at the pool. Trunks just would not work.

In more name-droppy news, my dear friends Liz and Sarah’s new book FOOTFREE AND FANCYLOOSE is out, the sequel to BASS-ACKWARDS AND BELLY-UP. Another hilarious, sad and very wise story about four girls trying to make their dreams come true. Go out and get it!! I know you will love the story as much as I did.


Think Pink!

I read the publishing blog Galleycat a lot. I like Ron a lot, the guy who runs it. He interviewed me for his first book-blog, Beatrice, when I published my first novel (Cat’s Meow, an adult novel about a bubble-headed broke fashionista). In the interview, I’m a bit of a precious writer in it. Haha. I was young then, what did I know? “Romance was my least favorite part of the book”??? How could I say that? I live and breathe romance now!

{Tangent topic: Whenever I say I write teen and adult books, I sometimes use the term “adult novel” and it sounds like I’m saying “X-rated novel” you know, like “adult movies”. LOL. But I don’t know what to say, since I do write for teens and adults, although now I mainly write for teens. One day perhaps I will once again write for an “adult audience”. See, sounds like I said “porno” again. I am CRACKING myself up here.}

Anyway, on Galleycat, they had a thing about how Jane Smiley (a “precious” writer—see yesterday’s post, they are suh-suh-suh-sensitive) trashed Jennifer Weiner’s new book Certain Girls because it was all pink and pretty.

Is this still going on, ladies? The whole chick-lit bashing???


Sometimes when I get described as a chick-lit writer, I am always mildly surprised. Like, moi? Write chicklit? Really? Because the stigma associated with the term is so harsh that when I read it in print it SOUNDS like an insult even though it is probably just a description. Because then I realize, oh yeah, I guess the Au Pairs is chicklit-y, so much so that it even pays homage to the chicklit bibles that came before it. (Note: chapter headings like The Devil Wears Louboutin, a takeoff on The Devil Wears Prada, etc.)

And I myself have said to people when they ask me what I write: “Oh, I write for teens, some chicklit stuff, and I have a vampire series.”

You know, I actually found a blog that said I should not write about vampires because I write chicklit too. And that REALLY got my back up. This reader said she liked Blue Bloods, but could only imagine goth-y teenagers reading it, so why have fashion in it, it’s just going to turn those suh-suh-suh-sensitive teens off.

Which is so untrue. And also reminds me WHY I write for teens and not adults.

First of all, teens are way, way, WAY cooler than adults.

When you’re a kid, your mind is still open, and you’re still figuring out who you are. When I was a teen, I was goth one day, and supercalifashionista the next. I did all the looks, I tried out all the identities. I wore ragged concert t-shirts, had my hair in a Robert Smith frightwig, and I also wore matchy-matchy mini-skirt plaid “Clueless” style outfits with high boots and big earrings. And I read EVERYTHING. Sweet Valley High AND The Vampire Lestat were my favorite, favorite books. My favorite writers were Francine Pascal and Stephen King. Did I care that Francine did not “write” her books? No. I loved her books because they were good and funny and I wanted to know if that evil Jessica would ever steal good-hearted Todd from “literary” Elizabeth. They were all just books to me.

My readers read Au Pairs, Blue Bloods, Wicked Lovely, Uglies, Twilight, Gossip Girl, the Clique, Harry Potter, Sherman Alexie, and everything in between.

Only when you’re an adult are you closed-minded enough to think that just because someone can write one thing, they can’t write another. Or that just because they look a certain way they have to write a certain way. Or that because you read one thing you don’t read another.

Because that’s how the majority of adults read: they ONLY read thrillers. Or they ONLY read mysteries. Or they ONLY read literary fiction. Which is SAD.

There’s so much good stuff out there, why only read in one category?

Here’s what’s on my to-read list:

Jumpha Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth
Jennifer Weiner: Certain Girls
Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising
Charles Bock: Beautiful Children
Joshua Ferris: Then we all came to the end
Mary Kay Andrews: Deep Dish
Melissa Marr: Wicked Lovely
Diane Vadino: Smart Girls Like Me
Kate Atkinson: Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Robert Harris: Imperium

I think chicklit bashing is symptomatic of the precious writer disease.

Here’s what precious writers say when people ask them what they do.

STRANGER AT COCKTAIL PARTY: “So what do you do?”

PRECIOUS WRITER: (bows head, falsely modest) “I’m a novelist.”

Bleggh! I’m a “novelist”. Bleegggh!

Anyway that is the thought of the day.

Go team pink! Buy a Victoria’s Secret panty! Eat at the Pink Taco! (Yes porno-y and pervy and kind of hilarious. But um, good tacos.)


Just the FAQs ma’am

I just updated the Frequently Asked Questions on this site.

And we are a YEAR behind on returning emails. Aaaah. By “we” I mean, um, me. But I like to use the royal “we”. The royal “we” is when you say stuff like, “We find the opera is fantastic this year” or “We summer in Bridgehampton” or some other pretentious thing… like, “We are behind on emails, m’dear.” Snarf.

But I read all the email, and “we” (me again) will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you read the FAQ’s you’ll find out that the title of Book Four in the Blue Bloods series! 🙂

What else is going on. Finished the first final draft of Revelations!!!! Woohoo!! Book is sooo good my friends. I know you will like. Because every time I read it I get hot and bothered and I want to know what the hell is going to happen, and I’m the one WRITING this. But you know, sometimes when the story is great, you really don’t feel like you’re writing it, you just feel like you’re the voice of all these people in your head and you need to tell their story. Gawd, now if that doesn’t sound precious I don’t know what does.

I really don’t like “precious” writers. You know, writers who have all these hoity toity pronouncements about writing and how suh-suh-suh-sensitive they are. Bring out the hankies! LOL.

Anyway, I gotta get back to the THREE other books I have to finish. But I’ll try to post more often than not.


Ashleys Trivia and a Correction

Couple of things…

On the inside cover of Jealous it says that the third Ashleys book, Birthday Vicious, isn’t coming out until December 2008. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. It was a misprint! Birthday Vicious actually comes out this AUGUST and the fourth Ashleys book, Lipgloss Jungle, comes out in November 2008. So all you guys who are emailing me about this, no, you won’t have to wait TOO long to read about the Ashleys again… isn’t that awesome? And um, isn’t Tri Fitzpatrick sooooo cute? For those who have still not read the book, Tri Fitzpatrick is the CUTEST yet SHORTEST boy in seventh-grade. He is actually based on a real guy I knew, who was um, also named Tri Fitzpatrick. And he was the cutest and shortest boy in ninth grade, actually. He probably was also the cutest and shortest in seventh grade too, expect I didn’t move to this country until ninth-grade, so I didn’t know him then. He had like this ‘swoosh’ of hair on his forehead and he had, just, the most handsome face I remember seeing when I was 13. Anyway, I danced with him at one of the “Informals” Balls (these super-exclusive and totally formal dance for a “select” group of teenagers in San Fran) my freshman year in high school. Still a highlight of my life…

And yes, Tri does grow taller (in real life and the books). Anyway, I think Tri transfered schools or something (he went to the all-boys school across the street) because I never saw him again after our one dance…and I don’t remember crushing on him after freshman year…but he’s lived on in memory to inspire a great character.

Sometimes I’m so glad I had so many crushes and boyfriends in my life, because I can put them all in my books. Haha.






I’M NOT SURE WHICH OF THESE DATES IS THE CORRECT ONE YET. I kind of think it’s the October date, since that was the date that was on the latest cover proof I saw. Which means it got bumped up! Yeah! Which means I really need to finish this book already.

I can’t believe it’s not done yet. But Act Two is kicking my ass my friends. All the way down the Upper East Side block. Act Two is always hardest to write, because it bridges the beginning and end of the books. Act Three is a breeze since if you’ve written Act Two correctly, then Act Three is just resolve, resolve, resolve, tying plot ends, finishing, etc. Big bow on top. And Act One is not as easy as Act Three but easier than Act Two. The hardest thing about writing the beginning of the book is simply starting it. I would just look at the empty computer screen for hours, frozen, too scared to write.

But ARGH. Act Two! Act Two has gone through several reincarnations now. I think I have it at the structure it’s supposed to have, but GAWD it took a long time to get there.

Revelations is by far my favorite of the series so far.  It’s just so juicy!

Anyway, THE ASHLEYS: JEALOUS? is out now, and if you like super-sweet love stories, I don’t think you’ll find a better one than Tri and A.A.‘s. Seriously. I love those two star-crossed lovebirds. Yeah, they’re twelve years old but c’mon, you’re telling me you didn’t fall in love when you were twelve? All I DID at twelve was fall in love with cute boys. Sigh.

Speaking of super-sweet love stories, this book I blurbed, Elizabeth Scott’s PERFECT YOU is out also. You must pick up a copy! I was in the middle of writing one of my books and Elizabeth’s editor had sent me her book. She told me Elizabeth was a huge fan of the Blue Bloods books and would love it if I could read it and say a few nice words. I said sure, just keep nagging me. So she nagged. (I totally respond to nagging since I’m a nagger myself.) And at the very last day I could turn in a blurb, I read PERFECT YOU all the way through in one night. And it’s AHHHSOME. I was so sad when it ended. The love story in it is just totally hot and sexy and romantic. You need to read it. If you don’t fall in love with Will and Kate, you don’t have a heart.

If you want a sneaky-peek at REVELATIONS, Hyperion is making fabulous little chapter samplers, with the first four chapters of the book. And will be GIVING IT AWAY at BookExpo America, where I’ll be signing copies of the thing on June 1st, Sunday. I think you have to pay a fee to go to BookExpo, but it’s totally worth it and you get TONS of free books. And you get to meet me! And get a sneaky-peek at Revelations! How cool is that?

Other things that are cool: A reader made a Blue Bloods role-playing game. Ohmagawd. This is just so cool. Go here and play.

Things that are not so cool: This article in the L.A. Times about how designer shoes have crept up into the four figures! One thousand dollars for Lanvin sandals??? And yet. I sort of want them. Right???

Why is the dollar so weak??? Why?? Why???

When I was in New York, my friend Karen would pick up a shoe, turn it over and check the price. If it was less than five hundred dollars, she’d declare it was so cheap it was free. It always cracked me up. Back then, seven-hundred was the breaking point for hot shoes. But now it’s actually a thousand dollars. Used to be if you spent a thousand dollars, you at least got BOOTS. Like a LOT of leather. And it would be MANOLO. But now all you get is sandals??? What’s that three strips of leather on a sole?

I have been telling myself I am not buying anything at Barneys or going to the spa until I finish Revelations. I am DYING over here. My eyebrows—I look like Grandpa Munster. Ugh.

Anyway, back to the fabulous vampires.