top five warm things

So long, February. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

You guys know I don’t do winter. Winter just does not appeal to me. The layering and icy winds and darkness at four something and lack of summer fruit…none of those things are fun. But I have to say, this February wasn’t as harsh. There were only a few bitterly cold days. The month flew by at an unprecedented rate. And there were good things to keep me warm.

Top Five Warm Things

5. New Girl addiction

How can you not love this show? Jess is adorable. Schmidt is adorable. Everyone is freaking adorable. I haven’t seen Season Two yet, but I am so psyched for Jess and Nick to get together that I don’t even mind the spoiler.

New Girl, Jess and Nick

4. Lena Dunham’s badass attitude

Speaking of new girls, I’m loving the way Lena Dunham is working it and owning it all over the place. Any chick who is razor smart, impressively articulate, and guaranteed to be the most hilarious person in the room gets my vote as Girl Who We Must Worship. She has the kind of confidence I can only hope to possess one day. I’ve only seen the first season of Girls, but that was enough to become a fangirl for life. LD is an inspiration to girls everywhere.

3. Upcoming All I Need stuff

All I Need comes out on May 21. We had a marketing meeting last week to discuss certain funtivities that Penguin will be busting out in the next three months. Some super exciting stuff is in the works. There will be events. There will be more contests and giveaways. Plus I get to go to both IRA in San Antonio and BEA here in New York. Being a major conference nerd, I am beyond stoked.

2. Fabulous at 40

You know how my internal age is 16? Well, technically I’m 39. About to turn 40 on May Day. Turning 40 will not be the crushing life event everyone says it is. Turning 40 will be epic. In an effort to go with the flow in the most zenlike way possible, I have decided that I will be Fabulous at 40. My teens were the worst time of my life. My 20s were for working through the issues surviving the Worst Time Ever inevitably brings. My 30s were all about dreaming big and achieving a lot of those dreams. Now it’s time to start a fresh decade. Which will have an amazing start…

1. This.

<3

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this photo. No, it’s not a new book cover. Although some friendly neighbors on Facebook were saying it should be. I don’t post much about boys (at least not actual boys in my life, as opposed to celeb boys on my husband list), but I had to post this. My boyfriend likes to document us kissing in classic locations, epic movie scene style. This is us in front of the New York Public Library lion. Why? Because that’s how my BF rolls. He’s a writer. He’s sweet and creative and brilliant. And he’s super romantic. So of course things like this kiss happen. Warm things that make February hardly even noticeable.

Here’s to a March filled with warm things for you 🙂

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all i need twitter giveaway

All I Need comes out three months from today! To celebrate, I’m giving away an ARC on Twitter.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

Like my other books, All I Need is a love story about soul mates. But this book is probably my most romantic one yet. So this giveaway will focus on soul mates who have resonated with you. Who are your favorite soul mates from a show, movie, or book? Share them on Twitter and enter to win.

How to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet me your fave show, movie, or book soul mates with the hashtag #allineed.

3. Bonus entry for also tweeting this: Win an ARC of #allineed! Giveaway info: https://susanecolasanti.wordpress.com/

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be completed by Friday, March 1 at 11:11 pm.

2. Only one soul mates tweet and one bonus tweet per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce the winner on Twitter on Saturday, March 2.

4. The winner will have two days to email me (susanecolasanti at gmail) their full name and mailing address. If a response is not received in time, an alternate winner will be selected.

5. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States.

Here’s to all of the soul mates who’ve inspired us!

you’ve got the power

In case you missed the billboard I rented about it, I won the raffle at Trader Joe’s.

This is a monumental deal.

What makes winning a raffle monumental? First off, it’s not just any raffle. Trader Joe’s gives you a raffle ticket every time you bring your own bag. Five winning tickets are drawn each week. The prize is a $25 Trader Joe’s gift card. That’s a decent amount of Tofu Edamame Nuggets.

I’ve been going to the Trader Joe’s a few blocks away about once a week ever since I moved into my new place last summer. Every week I brought my own bag. Every week I got a raffle ticket. And every week I’d check my ticket from the week before to see if I’d won.

Every week I was a loser.

But. Every week when I saw that I’d lost, I would say to the cashier, “I’m going to win the raffle one day. I just know it.” They would usually throw me a pity glance before bagging my pumpkin butter or cherry juice, smile politely, and give me a fresh ticket when I asked for one. I knew what they were thinking. They were thinking I’d never win. Because really, who does?

None of that stopped me from repeating the same procedure every week. Check last week’s ticket. Confirm that I lost. Announce that I would win one of these days. Receive new ticket. Become filled with hope all over again. That’s what being an eternal optimist is all about. No matter how many times you lose, no matter how many disappointments you encounter, you keep holding on to the hope that good things will come.

Which is exactly what happened.

Trader Joe's winning raffle ticket

Behold documentation of my winning raffle ticket. Not only did I truly believe I would eventually win the raffle, I repeated that belief over and over, week after week. Visualizing a goal and holding it close to your heart is important. But when you say the words, when you put your goal out there for others to hear, the Universe responds in even more profound ways. Our thoughts inspire words. Our words inspire actions. Everything is connected.

You have the power to score your own winning raffle ticket on a much larger scale. Whatever your heart’s desire is, let it be known to the world. Own it. Live it. Be vocal about your dreams. Never stop believing in your power to turn your dreams into reality.

The Universe is listening. What do you have to say?

who done it?

A bunch of us were accused of murder.

Of course we’re all innocent. Or that’s what we’d like you to believe. You can decide for yourself by reading Who Done It?

Who Done It? anthology

What is Who Done It? A star-studded anthology with a devilish hook, whose proceeds benefit 826nyc: the fabulous literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers.

Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Part Voldemort, part Cruella de Vil (if she were a dude), and worse in appearance and odor than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.

The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists, and all have something to hide…

Except for me. I am completely innocent. As for those other chumps, well. Like I said. You can decide for yourself.

nyc teen author festival 2013

This year’s NYC Teen Author Festival is so hot it’s on fire. Master of ceremonies David Levithan has whipped up yet another fabulous schedule of literary funtivities. Get ready for an abundance of awesome the week of March 18. Tons of rad authors. Tons of rad events. Can’t. freaking. wait. You can stay updated on the NYC Teen Author Festival Facebook page.

Here’s where you can find me during the festivities:

Friday, March 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Symposium panel discussion – He Said, She Said
NYPL 42nd Street Branch, 476 5th Avenue
Berger Forum, 2nd Floor

Sunday, March 24, 1:00-1:45 p.m.
Ginormous signing!
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street

Here’s the complete schedule of events!

NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL 2013

NYC Teen Author Festival

Monday, March 18, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
I’ll Take You There: A Change of Scenery, A Change of Self
NYPL Mulberry Street Branch
10 Jersey Street (b/w Mulberry and Lafayette)

Description: In their recent books, each of these authors have plunged their teen characters into new places as a way of revealing their true selves. We’ll talk about this YA journey narrative–where it comes from, and what it can lead to.

Authors: Gayle Forman, Kristen-Paige Madonia, Bennett Madison, Jennifer E. Smith, Melissa Walker

Tuesday, March 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
The Only Way Out is Through: Engaging Truth through YA
WORD Bookstore
126 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

Description: Pain. Confusion. Loss. Mistakes. Revelation. More mistakes. Recovery. One of the things that makes YA work is its desire to engage the messy truths of both adolescence and life in general. Here we talk about what it’s like to engage this messy truth, and how to craft it into a story with some kind of form.

Authors: Crissa Chappell, Tim Decker, Ellen Hopkins, Amy McNamara, Jessica Verdi

Wednesday, March 20, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Imagination: A Conversation
NYPL 42nd Street Branch
South Court room

Description: It’s a given that authors’ minds are very strange, wonderful, twisted, illogical, inventive places. Here we talk to five rather imaginative authors about how they conjure the worlds in their books and the stories that they tell, along with glimpses of the strange and wonderful worlds they are creating at the present.

Authors: Holly Black, Lev Grossman, Michelle Hodkin, Alaya Johnson, Robin Wasserman

Thursday, March 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
SOHO Teen night
Books of Wonder
18  West 18th Street

Celebrate the launch of SOHO Teen, featuring readings by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Joy Preble, Margaux Froley, Elizabeth Kiem, Heather Terrell & Ricardo Cortés, and Lisa & Laura Roecker.

Friday, March 22, 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Symposium
NYPL 42nd Street Branch
Berger Forum, 2nd Floor

2:00  Introduction

2:10-3:00  He Said, She Said

He: Ted Goeglein, Gordon Korman, Lucas Klauss, Michael Northrop

She: Susane Colasanti, E. Lockhart, Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Mlynowski, Leila Sales

3:00-4:00  Taking a Turn: YA Characters Dealing with Bad and Unexpected Choices

Caela Carter, Eireann Corrigan, Alissa Grosso, Terra Elan McVoy, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Elizabeth Scott, K. M. Walton

4:00-4:10  Break

4:10-4:40  That’s So Nineteenth Century

Sharon Cameron, Leanna Renee Hieber, Stephanie Strohm, Suzanne Weyn

4:40-5:30  Alternate World vs. Imaginary World

Sarah Beth Durst, Jeff Hirsch, Emmy Laybourne, Lauren Miller, E. C. Myers, Diana Peterfreund, Mary Thompson

Friday, March 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Reader’s Theater/Signing
Union Square Barnes & Noble
33 East 17th Street

Eireann Corrigan, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jeff Hirsch, David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Nova Ren Suma

Saturday, March 23, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Symposium
NYPL 42nd Street Branch
Bergen Forum, 2nd Floor

1:00  Introduction

1:10-2:10  Defying Description: Tackling the Many Facets of Identity in YA

Marissa Calin, Emily Danforth, Aaron Hartzler, A.S. King, Jacqueline Woodson

2:10-2:40  New Voices Spotlight

J. J. Howard, Kimberly Sabatini, Tiffany Schmidt, Greg Takoudes

2:40-3:30  Under Many Influences: Shaping Identity When You’re a Teen Girl

Jen Calonita, Deborah Heiligman, Hilary Weisman Graham, Kody Keplinger, Amy Spalding, Katie Sise, Kathryn Williams

3:30-3:40  Break

3:40-4:20  Born This Way: Nature, Nurture, and Paranormalcy

Jessica Brody, Gina Damico, Maya Gold, Alexandra Monir, Lindsay Ribar, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jessica Spotswood

4:20-5:00  The Next Big Thing

Jocelyn Davies, Leanna Renee Hieber, Barry Lyga, Maryrose Wood

Saturday, March 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Mutual Admiration Society reading
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince Street

Sharon Cameron, A.S. King, Michael Northrop, Diana Peterfreund, Victoria Schwab, Nova Ren Suma

Sunday, March 24, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Ginormous signing!
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street

1:00-1:45
Jessica Brody (Unremembered, Macmillan)
Marisa Calin (Between You and Me, Bloomsbury)
Jen Calonita (The Grass is Always Greener, LB)
Sharon Cameron (The Dark Unwinding, Scholastic)
Caela Carter (Me, Him, Them, and It, Bloomsbury)
Crissa Chappell (Narc, Flux)
Susane Colasanti (Keep Holding On, Penguin)
Zoraida Cordova (The Vicious Deep, Sourcebooks)
Gina Damico (Scorch, HMH)
Jocelyn Davies (A Fractured Light, HC)
Sarah Beth Durst (Vessel, S&S)
Gayle Forman (Just One Day, Penguin)
Elizabeth Scott (Miracle, S&S)

1:45-2:30
T. M. Goeglein (Cold Fury, Penguin)
Hilary Weisman Graham (Reunited, S&S)
Alissa Grosso (Ferocity Summer, Flux)
Aaron Hartzler (Rapture Practice, LB)
Deborah Heiligman (Intentions, RH)
Leanna Renee Hieber (The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, Sourcebooks)
Jeff Hirsch (Magisterium, Scholastic)
J. J. Howard (That Time I Joined the Circus, Scholastic)
Alaya Johnson (The Summer Prince, Scholastic)
Beth Kephart (Small Damages, Penguin)
Kody Keplinger (A Midsummer’s Nightmare, LB)

2:30-3:15
A.S. King (Ask the Passengers, LB)
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14, Macmillan)
David Levithan (Every Day, RH)
Barry Lyga (Yesterday Again, Scholastic)
Brian Meehl (Suck it Up and Die, RH)
Alexandra Monir (Timekeeper, RH)
Michael Northrop (Rotten, Scholastic)
Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars, HC)
Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing, Penguin)
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, St. Martin’s)
Kimberly Sabatini (Touching the Surface, S&S)
Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me a Sign, Bloomsbury)

3:15-4:00
Victoria Schwab (The Archived, Hyperion)
Jeri Smith-Ready (Shine, S&S)
Amy Spalding (The Reece Malcolm List, Entangled)
Stephanie Strohm (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, HMH)
Nova Ren Suma (17 & Gone, Penguin)
Greg Takoudes (When We Wuz Famous, Macmillan)
Mary Thompson (Wuftoom, HMH)
Jess Verdi (My Life After Now, Sourcebooks)
K.M. Walton (Empty, S&S)
Suzanne Weyn (Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters, Scholastic)
Kathryn Williams (Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, Macmillan)

Hope to see you there!

board game nirvana

My fellow board gaming nerds will love this big news. There’s a new Monopoly token. One of the less popular tokens was replaced with a shiny new design. The iron is out. I never really liked the iron anyway. Or the shoe. Maybe if it were a cute shoe. But the shoe was what you had to be if all the other tokens were already taken. Oh, and the thimble. Who wants to be the thimble? Get ready for this fresh choice. The shiny new token is a cat.

Monopoly cat token

That cat looks awesome. He’ll be appearing in the new edition later this year. I am going to be on that cat so fast it will make the wheelbarrow spin.

Why do I love old-school board games so much? Not just because I have serious affection for everything old-school. Board gaming has always been one of my fave activities. I grew up playing Monopoly, Sorry!, Parcheesi, Clue, and the rest of the classics with my friends. That was back in the day before we had screens to stare at other than the TV. There’s something so nostalgic and happy about playing board games. Every time I play one, that warm fuzzy feeling comes rushing back.

That’s why I’m a grownup who belongs to a board gaming group. Not just any board gaming group. My group is hardcore. These guys play games I’d never even heard of. My fave is probably Asara. You get to build castles. As a Sometimes Princess, I appreciate the castle theme. I also love Puerto Rico and Settlers of Catan. Here’s Settlers in action:

Settlers of Catan

These games take about three hours to play. Which is nothing compared to what a lot of the hardcore gamers play. They’ll spread out these elaborate boards that take up five tables with a dazzling array of pieces, cards, figures, puzzles, shards with magic powers…and one game will take like seven hours to play. These games require serious commitment. They require snack breaks. Lighting effects have even been known to occur.

So you can understand that most of these guys scoff when my friend Stephen busts out The Climbers:

The Climbers

Climbers is such a cute game. It’s not a board game, but we sneak it in before we get a group together for the main action. You have to use full blocks, half blocks, and ladders to be the highest guy standing at the end. The game ends when it’s impossible for anyone to get any higher. Of course I had to document the first time I played Climbers and won. My guy is the light blue one on the right. He is only a half block above the next highest guy. That was a tight game.

Sometimes in the park or wherever I’ll see little kids glued to their electronic devices who can’t even look up for three seconds to take in the world around them. It makes me sad. Sad that they’re not connecting with the Now. Sad that they’re missing all the real world action happening around them. It makes me sad to think that, by the time they’re teens, playing an old-school board game may be reduced to some archaic ritual their parents remember from back in the day.

I’ve made a pact with myself to do everything I can to encourage old-school activities. A winter night in playing Monopoly, drinking hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, and talking to friends in real life instead of through a screen might seem boring. But being fully present in the Now and connecting to people in an authentic way are two things we should do every day.

And if kids are reluctant to turn away from the screen? There’s always a shiny new cat token to shake things up.