summer reading giveaways

TGIM! It’s National Watermelon Day and the celebration is ON.

I’m kicking August off with summer reading giveaways all month. Each week of August will bring you a new chance to win a signed hardcover of City Love, plus an ARC (advance reader’s copy) or swag from another teen author. It’s a summer reading giveaway bonanza!

What can you win during the bonanza? I just so happen to have doubles of a few collector’s items that, oh, I don’t know, might be of interest to you…

Summer reading giveaway!

Yes, those are tissue packs from the premiere of The Fault in Our Stars. And yes, John Green was there. So those tissue packs breathed the same air as John Green. We also have ARCs of summer reading faves The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski, and The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. Like I said. The celebration is ON.

Here’s how this will work. One day each week for the first three weeks of August, I’ll be doing a giveaway on either Twitter or Instagram. Make sure you are following me on both Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss the giveaways! The date and site of each giveaway will not be announced in advance.

When I announce each giveaway on either Twitter or Instagram, you will have 24 hours to follow me and post your giveaway entry. Share what you love most about your city (or another city you love) with your post. Whether your town is rural, suburban, urban, or somewhere in between, I want you to show your city love! Your post must include the hashtag #citylove to enter. You may use the same entry each week, but can only win once.

Show Your City Love

The last giveaway of August will take place on my Facebook. I will be doing a Facebook Q&A on Monday, August 24, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm EST. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is participate in the Q&A. Everyone who asks a question will be entered to win. And yo, this giveaway is international! Anyone may enter.

To enter the Twitter/Instagram giveaways:

1. Follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram. You must be following me on the site where the giveaway is taking place that week to enter the giveaway.

2. One giveaway will be announced each week for the first three weeks of August. When each giveaway is announced, you will have 24 hours to follow me and post your entry.

3. Show your city love by sharing what you love most about your city or another city you love. Include the hashtag #citylove with your post and tag @susanecolasanti.

To enter the Facebook giveaway:

1. Like my Facebook.

2. Participate in the Facebook Q&A on Monday, August 24, 7:00-8:00 pm EST. Everyone who asks a question during the Q&A will be entered to win. This giveaway is international.

Giveaway rules:

1. Each week’s winner will be announced and contacted on either Twitter or Instagram, depending on where the giveaway took place that week.

2. Winners must email their name and mailing address to me at susanecolasanti at gmail.

3. Winners can request which additional ARC or swag they would like to receive with City Love. I will try to accommodate all requests. Prizes will then be mailed out after all four giveaways are over.

4. The giveaways on Twitter and Instagram are US only. If you live abroad but know someone in the States who can receive your prize for you, you may enter. The giveaway on Facebook is international.

Looking forward to watching you show your city love, friendly neighbors <3

small town news

I used to listen to NPR a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean hours a day. NPR has the most insightful interviews and best news coverage, IMHO. They are my people. These days I’m listening to some of their podcasts online, but also a bunch of Elvis Duran and Z100. That’s why I love my daily NPR Morning Brief. Snaps for yesterday’s headline: “Hot Trend in Men’s Grooming: Not Being a Slob.” And snaps for the shout-out to my fave summer song.

NPR summer breeze

Media love rocks on. The New Jersey Hills Media Group interviewed me about City Love, the importance of positive energy in my life and books, and how to know when you’ve met a soul mate. The feature was printed in my hometown area paper. A friend from high school still lives in the area and posted a pic of the article on Facebook.

Susane Colasanti, New Jersey Hills Media Group

A sweet full-circle moment is seeing an article about yourself in your hometown paper, especially when you felt like such an outsider back then. This interview was part of a feature on the Morristown Festival of Books. I will be at the festival on Saturday, October 3. Hope to see those of you in the Morristown, NJ area there!

You can read the full article here.

Enjoy the summer breeze, friendly neighbors :)

city love sampler

Can you believe July is half over? I can’t. Last thing I remember it was June and I was writing about how we had all of July ahead of us, the best month of summer vacay. But since I am an eternal optimist, I am choosing to look at this in a glass-half-full sort of way. We have a whole other half of July left!

There’s something about writing when everyone else is on vacay that really appeals to me. I love the sensation of getting work done when no one else is. Sundays are my fave days to work. I always feel like I’m twice as productive on Sundays, when New York City slows down and everyone else is having two-hour brunches and kicking back at the park.

My second half of July will be filled with outlining the last book of the City Love trilogy! Such a wild thing, considering the first City Love book has only been out for three months. I finished revising the second book a couple months ago, which will be out in 2016. Thinking about getting into the City Love trilogy? You can read some sample chapters in this City Love Sampler!

What else is on my agenda for the rest of July? I’m planning to finally post Help Wanted 3 on my YouTube. Then the Help Wanted party will be moving over to Periscope (find me there at @susanecolasanti) where I will start doing Help Wanted Live! I’ll be doing a summer reading giveaway across several social sites. And I’m working on a top secret project. This project is so top secret I can’t even tell you what it’s about. But this quote kind of gives you a hint…

City Love by Susane Colasanti quote

Hopefully I can share good news about this with you soon.

Have a fantastic glass half full of July :)

you are not alone

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Facebook Q&A last week! It was super fun. So fun that I’m planning another one for later this summer with an international giveaway of City Love. Thanks also to No BS Book Reviews for taking it all off in this City Love edition of Novel Nudity. And this Justin’s Book Blog interview in which I was asked only one question: How has your life impacted your writing? I could have rambled forever on that one!

There was one question during the Q&A that I started to answer, but decided to answer more completely here when it was taking up too much time. Catherine S. asked, “What advice do you have for dealing with loneliness?”

I know what it’s like to feel so alone that you can hardy breathe. To feel like no one will ever love you or even understand you. To feel like you will never have a true best friend or find people who are really your people. Feeling alone makes everything in your life an enormous struggle. Things that seem easy for everyone else are almost impossible for you. You feel like you’re living in a foreign country where you can’t speak the language and don’t know the local customs. I wish I could have told myself back then what I know now. But I can tell you, and if you are feeling alone, hopefully it will help.

Here’s the first thing I need you to know: You are not alone. This phrase gets thrown around a lot. Kind of like It gets better and You are loved. These three encouragements would have done pretty much nothing to make me feel better in my teen years. My argument would have shot them down like this: Yes I am totally alone, things getting better later does nothing to help me now, and no one loves me. I felt so trapped in my small world that it was extremely difficult to see the bigger picture.

The thing that helped me survive the most in high school was hope. Hope that I would eventually create a happy life. That life felt like it was a million years away, but I knew it was actually four years away, then three, then two. Senior year was much easier since every experience was the last. The best advice I can offer is to find your hope. What do you hope for that will make your life better? Carry that hope in your heart. Remind yourself of that hope every morning, every night, and as many times during the day as you need to. Believe with everything you are that what you hope for will happen. Hope is a really good reason to keep holding on.

You are the architect of your own destiny. That means whatever you are hoping for is in your hands. Your actions in this present moment are shaping your future life. How will you achieve your most important goals? What can you start doing right now to begin working towards turning your dreams into reality? Identify at least one thing you can do every day that will bring you a step closer to achieving your goals. Then make that action a daily priority. Taking control of the things you can in a situation where so much is out of your control will make you feel more connected to your world, and inspire you to build connections with new people who are on your wavelength.

Books were my best friends in high school. My favorite time of day was after school when I could go home and read on my bed. Books, shows, movies, and of course music saved me. They made me feel less alone. Because even if I was only connecting with characters in books and on TV, that sense of connection and validation helped me feel understood. The work that authors, show writers, directors, and musicians were creating inspired me. They gave me safe places. They gave me a sense of community. Now you can go online and find actual communities of people who love what you do. Find your happy. Let the things that make you happy show you that people are out there who are dealing with the same challenges you are.

Are there already people in your life who want to help you, but you’re not letting them in? I kept my high school friends at a distance. There were so many embarrassing parts of my life I was too busy hiding from my friends to show them the real me. But if I had opened up to them, I would have realized that I was not alone. And I was already loved. And it could have gotten better just by reaching out to the people who were right in front of me.

Volunteer work helped me feel less alone in high school. I was a candy striper and a Girl Scout leader-in-training, both of which gave me a sense of purpose and places to belong. Find your people in the places you love. If you love bookstores, coffeehouses, and parks, your people love them, too. Connect with them. Build new friendships. Do not let fear hold you back. A world of possibility is waiting for you to discover abundant happiness. What are you waiting for?

You are loved.

It gets better.

You are not alone.

top five, july edition

Welcome July! July really is the best month of summer. It’s usually warm without too many hot days. It’s not August with the impending sense of summer vacay coming to an end. July is an entire month to live on your own terms, chill days to kick back included.

Here are some things July is bringing.

1. I will be doing my first Facebook Q&A tomorrow, July 2, 7:00-8:00pm EST on my Facebook page. Everyone who asks a question will be entered to win this signed copy of City Love.

Susane Colasanti with City Love

The winning address must be in the US, but everyone is welcome to participate. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about life, love, writing…anything at all. Hope to see you then!

2. Speaking of City Love, Too Many Books Not Enough Shelves posted this sweet review. Can we please get this girl some more shelf space? Savvy Naddy’s review contains a LOT of spoilers, so proceed with caution!

3. As of today, Styrofoam is banned in New York City. That is freaking awesome news. Every time I see one of those horribly disrespectful coffee cups (because, duh, we’re the only ones who can protect our planet), I want to scream. Styrofoam is a massive problem. It’s not recyclable, takes up tons of landfill space, and contaminates waterways. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. have already prohibited the use of this nasty product. Here’s hoping more states step up to advocate for this important step in protecting our environment!

4. I adore this diagram for combining two of my fave things: moon phases and watermelon.

Melon PhasesSee, this is yet another reason why I have the best readers. A reader knew I would love this and shared it with me on Twitter. How amazing is she?

5. Summertime is amusement park time. And you know I get down with Disco Cookie.

Susane Colasanti with Disco Cookie

Going back to Sesame Place 33 years later was a fun full-circle moment. Something tells me July will bring a few more of those.

Wishing this summer is your best one ever, friendly neighbors :D