Monthly Archives: June 2017

Contest: Summer Jobs

Some of our best (and worst) teen-age memories happen not at school, not on vacation, and not even on dates with our biggest crushes. They happen at our summer jobs! The Sweethearts have held lots of different types of jobs, from babysitting, to hostessing at a dinner theater, to camp counselor, to telemarketer (see, some telemarketers ARE really sweet, so be nice out there, y’all!).

For our June contest, we want to hear about your summer jobs. Tell us about your favorite ones, or your least favorite, and feel free to share your stories. This month’s winner will be selected at random to receive some super fun Sweetheart Swag (including a bookmark, button, and magnet) as well as your choice of one e-book from the Sweetheart collection.

To enter, you need to (1) make sure you are following each of us on Twitter:

Then (2) leave a comment below about one (or more) of your summer jobs. Be sure to include your Twitter handle in your comment so we can reach you. Contest closes June 27 at noon ET.

We can’t wait to connect with you AND hear all about your summer jobs. Good luck! xoxoxo

Sandhya Menon and a Best-Selling Debut

For this month’s guest post, we welcome Sandhya Menon, author of the newly released When Dimple Met Rishi. We are so excited for Sandhya, as her novel debuted a couple of weeks ago on the New York Times Best Seller list. (ALL THE SQUEALS!) A YA romantic comedy, the story is about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage. The hero, Rishi, is a hopeless romantic who is actually kind of into it. Dimple? Um. Not so much.

Welcome, Sandhya! First things first. Why do you write YA?
Because today’s teens are totally going to save our world.

When you’re writing, what is your personal kryptonite?
That first round of editing (before it even goes to my editor). I dread it every single time!

When it comes to rejections and/or negative reviews, how do you cope?
This is weird, but reading negative reviews of books I LOVED or about rejections the authors I love faced really helps me see I’m not alone and often it’s not about me at all.

Kissing scenes: Do you find them easy or more challenging to write?
Definitely easier! All the kissing!

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would it be?
Jenny Han, Becky Albertalli, or Stephanie Perkins!

Awesome! Now on to the speed round:

  • Alpha males vs. sensitive types: Sensitive types all the way, baby!
  • Sweet vs. savory: SWEET.
  • Tropical island vs. mountain getaway: Mountains!
  • French fries vs. cookies: Cookies! Especially chocolate or coconut cookies…mmmm…
  • Friday night vs. Sunday morning: Friday night! Love that feeling of freedom and possibilities spooling out before me!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Fans can find Sandhya here:

Website * Twitter * Instagram

Sandhya Menon is the author of WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI (Simon Pulse/May 30, 2017) and a second YA contemporary coming in the summer of 2018. She currently lives in Colorado, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her family to watch all 3,221 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.

Summer + Reading = Perfect Match

by Erin Fletcher

Happy summer, y’all! Okay, fine. It may not be the first official day of summer yet, but I’m writing this post with the windows open, a warm breeze blowing in, and birds chirping nearby, so a little early is okay, right? Good.

In my world, summer means lots of one thing: reading. In fact, I would argue that it’s the best season for reading.

I know what you’re thinking. But, Erin. Isn’t winter the best, when you can curl up with a blanket and a cat and a book and pretend the frigid temperatures and snow outside don’t exist?

Well…that is pretty great. But summer is better. Here’s why:

  • Vacation = Reading time. Whether you’re on summer break from school or getting some time off work (long weekends FTW!), all of those extra hours mean more time to spend between the pages of a book. Want to take an entire day to tackle your TBR list? Go for it. Stuck in the backseat of your family’s minivan on a cross-country road trip? Use the time to finish that book that’s been sitting by your bed for the past three months!
  • Waterside reading is the best. I’m lucky enough to have access to a pool and also live within driving distance of the ocean. Is there anything better than relaxing in a lounge chair in the sand with the soothing sound of ocean waves providing background noise while you read? No. No there is not. Especially if the book is by Sarah Dessen or another beach-writing author. Relaxing in a lounge chair by the pool is a close second, as evidenced by this picture from my first reading pool trip of the season:

  • There is nothing on TV. Literally nothing. No new episodes of Gossip Girl. The second season of 13 Reasons Why isn’t out yet. So unless you’re marathoning old episodes from HGTV or the Food Network (okay…maybe I spend a tiny bit of summer time doing that), you have a lot more prime-time hours available for books. Ditch the screens…at least until This is Us is back.
  • Summer reading programs are a thing! Check your local library! Many have programs for kids, teens, and adults. My library offers prizes just for reading or attending a library event. True story: Once in college my roommate and I participated in a summer reading program and won a gift card to a store called Yarn It! (exclamation point included). It was the coolest/nerdiest thing ever that led to a half-crocheted scarf and a good memory.

See? Summer really is the best for reading, and we’re just getting started.

What’s your favorite part about summer reading? What beach reads are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

Throwback Thursday: Teen Romance Edition

For the June edition of “Ask the Sweethearts,” we’ll take a trip down Romance Memory Lane. But first, the announcements:

A huge congratulations to Erin Fletcher, whose All Laced Up has been named a finalist for the Young Adult Romance Writers of America’s Athena Award! And double congrats on the announcement of her sequel, Tied Up in You, coming in July!

Congratulations also to our May contest winner, Ann Marjory K, aka Villain Queen Extraordinaire. She was randomly selected to receive the Pampered Princess Prize Pack featuring a copy of Karole Cozzo’s new YA/NA romance, The Truth About Happily Ever After. Huge thanks to everyone who entered … may your summers be filled with the magic and love of your favorite fairy tales.

Now, for our June question: If Teen You had been the main character in a YA romance novel, what would her story line have been?

Stephanie Scott: Teen Stephanie typically had her eyes on the guy out of reach. As a freshman, my friends and I would pine after the seniors who worked in the school store before and after classes, and the grunge-loving guy we’d see come in for independent study art class. The out-of-reach guy is a fun trope in romance because it’s so relatable; it can be easy and safe to crush from afar. No risk of rejection if there’s no chance of actually getting together!

Darcy Woods: Teen Darcy was forever cursed with phrases in her yearbook that began with: “To a smart girl who always makes me laugh.” Turns out, very few guys wanted to ask the clever, funny girl to Homecoming. But then her freshman year, she discovered a boy who was hilarious, witty, and…wait for it — would sing Broadway show tunes in the car with her! Obviously, she was smitten. More than smitten, she was in LOVE. But her love was destined to be unrequited. Because as fate would have it, this amazing boy of her dreams was gay. So while Teen Darcy’s story line was a bit of a romantic tragedy, eventually, her HEA prevailed!

Robin Constantine: If Teen Robin had been a character in a romance novel, she would’ve always been on the lookout for a mysterious someone to sweep her off her feet, but in reality it was the guy she got along with easily — who made her laugh and who she could be totally real with, the one who was still around when the mysterious someone turned out to be a total flake — he was the one who held the key to her heart.

Linda Budzinski: I don’t think Teen Linda could ever actually have been the main character in a YA romance novel. She’d have made a great Fiercely Loyal Though Perpetually Lovelorn Best Friend. She had lots of crushes but no luck with any of them. If anyone were crazy enough to try to write her story, readers would have to be willing to stick with her through a very long and torturous series until Late-Twenties Linda finally meets an Amazing Guy and finds her HEA!

Karole Cozzo: Teen Karole believed that first love lasted forever — it was an easy enough ideal to hold onto, considering she dated her first boyfriend from 7th – 11th grade. When he broke up with her, the last person she thought would heal her broken heart was one of his best friends, whom she’d always had an “oil and water” relationship with. You can’t go wrong with the enemies-to-lovers trope when it comes to contemporary YA romance, and teen Karole’s story line certainly proved there’s something to be said for the particular butterflies that go along with starting to see someone you thought you couldn’t stand in a whole new way. Karole likes the trope so much … you just might see it in her next book. 😉

Erin Fletcher: If Teen Erin were a main character in a romance novel, her story line would have been a friends to lovers story. In those stories (which I love to read!), it’s usually obvious to everyone BUT the two friends that they should be together in a “more than friends” kind of way. I’m pretty sure that’s how everyone in my life felt about me and one of my best friends! For three years we maintained friendship before realizing what everyone else had known all along. It was a pretty great moment of realization, just like in romance novels! Better late than never, right?

What about you? What is/was your Teen You YA romance story line? Tell us in the comments…. xoxoxo