top ten, endless summer edition

How is it the end of August already? Seriously with this? So what you’re telling me is that it will be Thanksgiving three months from now? Directly followed by winter?

I demand a recount.

1. One of the hardest parts of leaving summer behind is saying goodbye to summer fruit. The amount of watermelon I have already eaten is extraordinary. 

I heart watermelon

Then there was the best cantaloupe I’d ever had in my entire life. We got it at a roadside farm stand in New Jersey. It tasted just like growing up in Jersey farmland. And don’t even get me started on the berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. I will miss you all to pieces.

2. Fortunately for us, there are lots of other treats to savor. Like Sprinkles Ice Cream sundaes. See, first there was Sprinkles Cupcakes, which I finally got to visit for the first time when I was on book tour in Los Angeles in 2010. That was also when I got to meet Wilson from Cast Away (scroll down in the same post for documentation)! Then Sprinkles expanded into ice cream territory. A mad impressive accomplishment, especially considering that they were killing it just with the cupcakes. I like taking some of my old students out for cupcakes once a year. It’s our Friendly Neighbor Reunion. This year our FNR was held at Sprinkles Ice Cream, which is right next door to Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. What did I have?

Susane Colasanti with a Sprinkles Ice Cream sundae

Um, yeah. This is a Sprinkles Ice Cream sundae. It’s a cupcake bottom, then ice cream, then the cupcake top and frosting. They also have cookie sundaes and brownie sundaes. The cookies and brownies are broken up into cups. Then you add whatever ice cream and toppings you want. All I’m going to say is this: It’s a good thing Sprinkles is uptown and I live downtown. There is no way I would be able to resist a daily sundae fix if I lived closer.

3. Summer reading freaking rules. Everyone knows this. My summer reading started with Eleanor & Park. Reading that book was like a mental mashup of classic 80s movies highlights plus my most embarrassing dark secrets from high school. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is so beautiful and brilliant and true that I immediately had to go out and buy her other books. I can’t even explain to you how much fun I’m having reading Landline. It’s official. I’m a Rainbow Rowell fangirl.

4. It wouldn’t be summer without experiencing my trifecta of fave old-school down the shore activities on the Point Pleasant boardwalk: Skee-Ball, water ice, and bumper cars.

Susane Colasanti and bumper cars

Am I aware that I am a major dork? Yes. I am totally aware of that. It is ridiculous how excited I get for bumper cars. But I’m not one of those mean riders who enjoys bumping into other cars. I like to swing around the outside in a smooth circle, avoiding the pileups and staying in motion. You could say I’m a bumper car pacifist.

5. One book event highlight of the summer was Beach Bag Book Club on Long Island. This is an annual event I absolutely adore. I’m extremely fortunate to have participated in BBBC for the past few summers. This year I was on a super fun panel with these fabulous authors:

Jennifer E. Smith, Kieran Scott, Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Jen Calonita

Here I am surrounded by Jennifer E. Smith, Kieran Scott, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Jen Calonita. These ladies are beyond amazing. Their accomplishments are an inspiration to us all. If you’re looking for more summer reading, I highly recommend everything by these four adorable romance writers.

6. Speaking of book stuff, some fresh interviews were posted this summer. Author Turf interviewed me about inspiration, career building, and advice for aspiring writers. Progressive Radio Network interviewed me in the studio about my inspiration for Now and Forever, why my main motto is Dream Big, and how my personal love life influences my books. The interview starts at 32:55 of the podcast. 

7. Even more book stuff! Remember when I shared some behind-the-scenes photos from the City Love cover shoot? Here’s one more via Margot Wood, who was on the scene:

City Love by Susane Colasanti cover shoot

I heard there were way more people there. The cover shoot took place over two days on a Brooklyn rooftop to capture the dazzling New York City skyline in the background. Book one of the City Love trilogy will be out on April 21, 2015. But the cover should be revealed soon! Please stay tuned for exciting news about the reveal.

8. This summer here in New York was gorgeous. Not crazy hot and humid. August was way more tolerable than usual. That meant lots of dinners outside, epic night walks, and laying out on the sundeck. Temperatures were in the 90s for only 4 days this summer as opposed to the average 18 days. But the summer overall has been two-tenths of a degree warmer than average. Escaping a heat wave made the summer feel cooler, even though it wasn’t. Plus our last four summers ranked in the top ten of hottest summers for this past century. And the Earth experienced its highest temperatures in over a century during this May and June. This concludes the part where I geek out science teacher style. Thanks for listening.

9. Shout-out to Garrison Keillor for celebrating Prairie Home Companion’s 40th anniversary this summer! I have been a massive Prairie Home fan for…wow, almost 20 years. Snaps for Garrison preserving vintage radio show entertainment. Long live PHC.

10. Here’s to epic summer love.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti, National Book Store

 Summer is not over yet, friendly neighbors. Anything is possible ❤

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susane colasanti, author of city love

Shiny new author photos for my upcoming City Love trilogy are in the house!

Susane Colasanti

Jayd Jackson is a phenomenal photographer. Like, seriously the best. She shot a few of my book covers and now takes my author photos. Usually you have to take about 300 photos of me to get a halfway decent one. Not Jayd. She magically makes me look like I clean up way better than I do.

Susane Colasanti

After I saw these City Love author photos, I was pretty much blown away. Jayd’s use of natural lighting and mad profesh camera skills meant that I had photos I actually liked. Which, for me, never happened before I started working with her. If you’re looking for a photographer, Jayd is your girl.

Susane Colasanti

Here’s the thing. Jayd’s photos are so fun and colorful that I’d love for them to show up in Google image searches. But you can’t just submit images to Google. You have to post them on a website and hope they eventually show up. So instead of just raving about Jayd, I’m posting her photos here so that they have a chance of showing up. Please forgive this annoying post with all the large photos!

Susane Colasanti

Okay, that’s it. Thanks for tolerating all the pics. It will be funny ten years from now when image searches are way easier and we’ll laugh about how clunky technology was back in the day. Cheers to progress!

rock star giveaway

Can you believe it’s back-to-school time already? Me neither. Summer always goes too fast, but this summer has an even bigger hold on me. The weather has been gorgeous. I’ve had lots of relaxing mornings on the sundeck and fabulous dinners outside. Plus sunsets on the High Line and night walks along Hudson River Park, complete with spying on amazing apartments. So I was really not feeling it when I saw a display of Halloween candy at the supermarket the other day. Halloween candy displays are unacceptable to some of us still laying out in their bikinis needing to avoid fun size Snickers.

One thing that always resonates with me during the summer more than it usually does is music. There’s the soundtrack of your high school experience, which mainly forms the soundtrack of your life. That music will always be closest to my heart. But then there’s the soundtrack of your summer, which fluctuates from year to year. This summer I’ve been kicking it with Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake. Not exclusively or anything. There’s always a sprinkle of the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson in my summer. But there’s a certain musical sound to Summer 2014 that will always be captured in time.

Thinking about how musical tastes evolve a bit over time (but mostly stay the same) reminds me of why I wrote Now and Forever. Or at least my inspiration for the book. One of my biggest fantasies in high school was to be the girlfriend of the world’s biggest rock star. Now and Forever is Sterling’s story. Ethan Cross is her boyfriend…and also the world’s biggest rock star. Missed the trailer? You can watch it here.

 

I’m giving away a signed copy of Now and Forever on Twitter this week. Here’s what I want to know: If you could have any rock star as your boyfriend or girlfriend, who would it be…and why? Follow me on Twitter and tweet your answer with the hashtag #NowAndForever to enter.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet the name of the rock star you would want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend and tell me why. Use the hashtag #NowAndForever in your tweet.

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be tweeted by Friday, August 29 at 11:11 pm.

2. Only one tweet per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce and contact the winner on Twitter.

4. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States. If you live abroad but know someone in the States who can accept the prize for you, go for it.

Can’t wait to see your BF/GF rock star selections 🙂

look up

Sometimes I forget to look up. Which is a travesty here in New York. There is so much to notice when you look up in this city. Gorgeous architecture, skywriting, elaborate apartments, a bunch of red balloons floating away, rooftop gardens, intricate details on buildings like tiling and etching…the list is endless. That’s why John in So Much Closer is always trying to get Brooke to look up more.

The other thing about looking up is that you get captured in the Now. The tons of people I pass on the street every day with their eyes glued to their phone is beyond depressing. That’s how you’re walking around one of the most captivating cities in the world? Staring at a screen? I can’t with that.

Remembering the importance of looking up, I just noticed this beautiful top of a building only a few blocks from my place:

Look Up, New York City style

This design is a good example of the elaborate, unique quality of so many New York City buildings. The building is actually pretty average when you see it at street level. You have to look up to see the good stuff. How sweet is that one round window at the top? How cool is it that those four rows of windows all have different designs? Buildings with dazzling tops fascinate me. This building with its array of ornate details dazzles along with the best of them.

Even though I look up and notice beauty like this a lot, I felt compelled to document the moment to share with you. I’ve been thinking about doing a series of Look Up posts featuring these images for a while. Maybe it’s time to start.

John Dalton would approve.

best version of you

A soul mate is someone who inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

Even more important? Being the best version of you for YOU.

Best version of you

When I was in high school, summer always symbolized a second chance. It was the time when I promised to reinvent myself. Every year I wanted to go back to school as a shiny new version of myself, the better and brighter version I knew I could be.

But my summers of reinvention never quite worked out. Why? Because I didn’t realize that I already had the strength, knowledge, and passion to be the best version of myself. I thought reinvention would come from outside sources. That I had to look a whole different way in order for people to see me differently. This was back when I cared way too much about what other people thought. When the end of summer came and I still pretty much looked like the same person, I was always disappointed. Then I would start looking forward to next summer…

If I could have given myself a memo, it would have said this: Don’t wait for next summer or the summer after that to be the best version of yourself. Real life doesn’t start when you graduate from high school. Real life is happening right now. This is your real life and you have the power to shape it into the life you want. True, there was a lot I couldn’t control back then. But there was also a lot I could have controlled.

Change what you can. Accept what you can’t. And strive to be the person you want to be every single day.

Hope the rest of your summer is spectacular ❤

rooftop city love

TGIM, friendly neighbors! I hope your summer has been a spectacular one. Here in New York, we’ve been enjoying happy summer days and romantic summer nights. Including some rooftop city love, soul mate style.

Susane Colasanti and Matt Huntington

Looks like a book cover? It’s actually me and my BF.

Thanks to Jayd Jackson for capturing the magic. Jayd also shot the cover of All I Need, which features a very similar pose. You know how I love a good full-circle moment ❤