Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Light (a repost)

It's Yule (Aka the solstice, midwinter, "insert local name here") in the Northern Hemisphere and one of my favorite nights of the year because of the message we humans have attributed to it across cultures and millenia:

Another year and a repeat quote from my paper journal December 21st, 2001 entry: 

"Tonight is Yule-- the longest night of the year.

Tonight reminds us that even the darkest of nights are followed by light, and that even in the worst of times, we have hope. No night is so dark that day will never follow. long as we have hope, it will never truly be dark."

You might not know it, but many of you have been my light in the past, either through your posts, books, comments, texts, or just by being you. 

You are all incredible. 

On this solstice, I wish you all lives full of light and hope, as bright as the brightest stars in the sky.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Moments :)

It's been a while! 

I've turned in my copyedits for Dramatically Ever After (wheee! and it's up for preorder everywhere, including Target, which censored the word "butt" in the description and made my day last Friday) so I thought I'd celebrate a little post- Bookishly Ever After short scene. 

I call these "moments" and they're just little short story snapshots written just for all of you. These will eventually go onto my Extras page, but I'll be randomly posting (non-spoilery) ones here. Enjoy!

Moment: Phoebe, Trixie, and blue dirndls

            “This is going to cost me, isn’t it?”
“When one constantly wants custom outfits from one’s sister, one must occasionally make sacrifices.”
                Phoebe poked at a bolt of satin and looked over at her sister. Trixie was holding a bolt of soft-looking pink fabric out at arm’s length, head tilted and lips twisted in thought. “But why did we have to come into Philly when JoAnn’s is only five minutes from home?”
               “That would be like you buying yarn at a craft store instead of Oh, Knit! or Woolbearers. This,” she said, petting the fabric before putting it back down and picking up and squinting at a nearly identical bolt, “is my Manos del Uruguay.”
The fact that her big sister could rattle off her favorite yarn stores and yarn brands made Phoebe feel a little guilty about her less than basic knowledge of all of Trixie’s fabric and sewing-related things. “Okay, I get it. So, tell me,” she picked up the most obnoxious acid-green bolt of something in a polyester Trixie wouldn’t touch in a million years and pretended to drape it around herself, “what are you planning for your latest masterpiece, oh couture genius?”
The pink fabric went onto Trixie’s pile of fabrics before she swooped over to a baby blue bolt and unwound about a yard to study the material. She held it up against her little sister’s arm, tilting her head and squinting a little bit. “I’m thinking a late fourties-like dirndl style dress with a white blouse and petticoat.”
“Uhm, don’t dirndls have, like, aprons and…” Phoebe uncomfortably gestured at her chest and made a upward gesture.
“No, a dirndl style like they had in the fourties and fifties. Basically a fitted bodice, blouse, and full skirt. No apron,” she added with a quirky grin. “And no oomph if you don’t want it. But I think it might make a really cute outfit for you to wear to the Beauty and Beast movie opening.”
“And for the fairy-tale inspired outfit portfolio you need to finish by next month?”
“Maybe for the casual wear section. Two birds, one bolt of fabric,” Trixie said with a wink, then handed her the bolt of blue material followed by a super soft white fabric. Tucking the pink bolt under her arm, she headed for the cutting table. “So, now that we’re set with three new outfits for you, let’s talk knitting labor. I’ve got three sweaters for you to make with your knitting magic for my winter collection runway project.”
“Three? Sewing hours do not equal knitting hours, you know.”
Trixie pointed at the blue fabric. “Belle dress.”
Phoebe puffed out her cheeks before letting out a puff of air and nodding reluctantly. “Fine, but you owe me.”

<3 Issy

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dramatically Ever After First Excerpt!!!

I know... this blog is quiet, right? (Sorry... revisions, day job, the usual!)

Well, the YAInsiders blog isn't... and they posted the first excerpt from Dramatically Ever After!

Click here to go to the YAInsiders blog.

Plus, I get to share another set of adorable chibis, this time of Em and Kris!

Aren't they cuuuuute? Art by Draskia (link to her site in my FAQs)
<3 Issy

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bookishly Ever After Phoebe at BEA Short Story... up on my website!

As promised, Bookishly hit 50 reviews on a retail site, and I'm SO happy to share the Phoebe at BEA short story that has been burning up my laptop for over a year now!

Click here to go to my Extras page and click on the "Phoebe at BEA" link under "Deleted Scenes and Extra Stories/Drabbles."

(and yes, that section title is all plural because I have a lot of other fun short scenes or deleted scenes to share with all of you over time--all of you who have been wonderful and have read and reviewed BEA have helped to "unlock" my story vault!)

In non-excerpt-y news, Dramatically Ever After's cover and synopsis were revealed last month (you can see the pretty here) and I *think* (whistles innocently) I may be allowed to share an excerpt from DEA later this summer--keep an eye on my twitter or here for when it goes up.

And in non-Ever After series news, I've also been working hard on another fun YA contemporary as well as falling down the fandom wormhole for Miraculous Ladybug, If you haven't watched that cartoon yet, DO IT. Awesome teen female superhero with a magical yo-yo who is totally awkward in her civilian persona. Teen boy sidekick who is a supermodel by day and leather catsuit-wearing, pun-loving dork by night. A love square between these two nerds. And set. in. PARIS. (The Origins episode premieres in the US next Saturday, 6 August and I'm prepping myself for all the umbrella scene feels I've been hearing about from other fans.)

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer!

*bookish hugs*

Monday, June 6, 2016

Barnes and Noble B-Fest June 10-12

Hi everyone!!! I know I've been quiet, but popping on to let you know that I'll be talking and signing and buying too many new books during the Barnes and Noble B-Fest next weekend (June 10-12) in a few New Jersey and Pennsylvania locations. I'll have swag (including the much loved chibi buttons) and I hear B&N will be holding contests, etc all weekend long. I hope to see you there!

(Where to find me June 10-12
June 10, 7-9pm: Paramus,NJ
June 11, 1-3pm: Marlton, NJ
June 11, 5-7pm: Valley Forge, PA
June 12, 2-4pm: Plymouth Meeting, PA)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

See you at BEA!

Doing some last minute packing right now, but just dropping a reminder that I will be at BEA in Chicago this Thursday and Friday (with bookmarks and buttons and other swag). I will be signing copies of Bookishly Ever After on Thursday from 10-10:30 at Table 14 in the Autographing area. 
Please pop over to say hi (or if you see me on the conference floor--I love meeting readers and other writers (and readers who write)!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm Afraid (Repost)

If you're writing, querying, or in that in-between stage in the writing journey, I wanted to repost this old blog post for you. I wrote this a little over half a year before getting my book deal. Doubt and fear and frustration are normal. Rejection sucks. But if I had quit before even starting queries, I wouldn't have a finished copy of Bookishly to hold. It's okay to be afraid, but keep working and dreaming, too.

I'm Afraid

I'm an optimist, a Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables-loving (well, Emily of New Moon is my favorite but she's not as positive, so let's just roll with the Anne thing, okay?,) twirl-y skirt-wearing glitter addict who sees the glass not only half full, but that it's full of teal glitter.

I'm not saying I don't have bad days or lose my energy sometimes. But, in general, I see life as this short journey and we can't waste it looking for the dirt and shadows when there's so much joy and sunshine around us. This past week, though, I had a few 3 a.m. moments that so many of you pulled me through, like little text and twitter rays of sunshine (cue quote I've put on this blog before:)

"...she knew that there would be days when she would feel desparingly that she could not write and that it was of no use to try; days when the editorial phrase 'not necessarily a reflection on its merits,' would get on her nerves to such an extent that she would feel like imitating Marie Bashkirtseff and hurling the taunting, ticking, remorseless sitting room clock out the window; days when everything she'd done or would try to do would slump-- become mediocre and despicable; days when she would be tempted to bitter disbelief in her fundamental conviction that there was as much truth in the poetry of life as in the prose; days when the echo of that 'random word' of the gods, for which she so avidly listened, would only seem to taunt her with its suggestions of unattainable perfection and loveliness beyond the reach of mortal ear or pen." -L. M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

I wanted to post this in the beginning of the query stage before waves of rejections start rolling in, because I still believe very firmly in what I wrote in my product development post. I'm not afraid of rejection, but I'm so, so, so afraid that I'm deluding myself into thinking I can write well enough to even try. I'm afraid of being like those dancers in the audition episodes of So You Think You Can Dance who are not awful, but nowhere near good enough to compete with the good dancers. The ones who probably are in the Intermediate-Advanced classes in their little dance schools, but would only qualify for Advanced Beginner in the NYC schools (This, I know from my years of taking class in suburbia and Broadway Dance Center.) They're unable to see that they'll never be as good as the people who do make it on the show.

Worse, I'm afraid that I might be equivalent of one of the delusional awful dancers.

I'm afraid of dreaming about yet one more thing and having that hope crushed--I have enough of that in my non-writing life as it is. (note: here was where I wrote stuff about family, being single, career... but it became rather depressing, so *delete*)

In a little bit, I'll be back to sunshine and rainbows, but I needed to write out this fear. Because, honestly, I'm terrified.

What are you afraid of?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BEA (Bookishly Ever After) at BEA (Book Expo America) short story

One thing that amuses me to no end (and annoys me, at the same time) is that Bookishly Ever After has the same initials as Book Expo America. Amusing because Phoebe would be over the moon to know it and annoying because it makes it basically impossible for me to abbreviate my own book on bookish twitter without causing massive confusion.

After last year's BEA, I was inspired to write a short story about Phoebe attending this year's BEA. It would be a nice addition to my extras tab, dontcha think?

But short stories take time and effort away from book writing to write and revise, so, in order for me to set BEA Feebs loose on the world, I'd like to ask readers--if you loved BEA, post your reviews for BEA (the book, not the trade show) online at retail sites. I'll unlock the BEA at BEA short from my laptop when any of the sites hits 50 reviews.

And if we hit 100 reviews, I'm not sure if I'll write something new or release a deleted scene :) both are possible.

Or maybe I'll drop a teaser for Ever After Book 2. Hmmm....


Thursday, February 4, 2016

#LoveInBooks: 7 YA Authors Sending Love

Hi all!

Today is the first day of a multi-author Valentine's Day special: #LoveInBooks. Seven of us have teamed up to share quotes from our books containing the word "love" from now through Valentine's Day. Here's the first quote for BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER:

Grand Prize Giveaway

To spread even more love, each of us is giving away a finished copy of our books and swag. You can enter the giveaway below. Entries are accepted daily through Feb. 12th. The winner will be announced on Monday, Feb. 15. USA only.

Participating books and authors (alphabetically, by book):

  1. ARROWS by Melissa Gorzelanczyk / Follow Melissa on Twitter
  2. ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers / Follow Sarah on Twitter
  3. BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER by ISABEL BANDEIRA / Follow Isabel on Twitter
  4. CURIO by Evangeline Denmark / Follow Evangeline on Twitter
  5. THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES by Rebecca Podos / Follow Rebecca on Twitter
  6. SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan / Follow Kathy on Twitter
  7. THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp / Follow Marieke on Twitter
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Booksigning and Cakestravaganza info!

One week to go!!! 

There will be cake from 3:30-4:30 (after the signing) at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, if anyone wants to make the trip. I can't wait to see you all next Saturday!