Sunday, February 27, 2011


Oh my gosh I just spent 3 days at a swim meet. I have been sweaty and my butt hurts and ohhhhhh my I could go on and on. But Superson did really great. Had lots of fun. Got a couple of ribbons and made his mama proud. Gooooooo Superson!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grieving L.K. Madigan

Sometimes a person comes into your life and you feel an instant connection to her. L.K. Madigan was like that.

I didn't know her as well as many others. I only met her once in person, but I was instantly in love. I did know her from The Debs, and was so fortunate to get to know her in our online community.

There's alot of words being written about her right now, because she was the type of person who touched others just by being herself. With Kindness. With Humor. With her Surprisingly Tall Height. The Warmest Smile. And Nice. Just really, really nice.

No doubt she was also talented. Her Debut, Flash Burnout won the Morris Award. I remember reading it and laughing out loud and thinking, holy crackers, this is what they mean when they talk about VOICE.
And starred reviews for Mermaid's Mirror.  A book that came out as she was beginning to know that something was wrong. That she was ill.

And her post on live journal, where she told the world about her pancreatic cancer. So Brave. So Honest. So Dignified.

And yet in her words, there was one line that broke my heart and continues to linger in my mind. Talking about her son, Lisa wrote this:

"I would step in front of my son to take a bullet for him. But now I feel like the one pulling the trigger."

It's the voice of a truly wonderful mother who feels worst, not about dying but about leaving her son behind to cope without her. This is what breaks me the most. This is definitely the line I grieve the most.

From all accounts, Lisa went the same way she lived. With grace and dignity. Surrounded by people who love her.  I feel her loss and my heart goes out to her son. I wish for him a wonderful life, the kind of life his mom wanted for him. I hope that he grows up and is able to feel her in his life, watching along with him as he grows and becomes a man.

Someday I hope that he is able to be comforted by how much she touched others. How much she was loved. And knowing that she loved him with all of her heart.

Her time here was not enough. But she left us with the memory of how to live.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comment for a chance to WIN an ARC of I'M NOT HER!

It's Tuesday and you know what that means??

I'm going to GIVE AWAY AN ARC of I'M NOT HER.
to one lucky winner.  

That's what Tuesday means over here at Janet Gurtler's blog today, baby.

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog and you're automatically entered. Easy peasy.

I'll open it up to the whole world baby. That's right, you can enter from anywhere in the world.  Even Canada. ;0

I'll take comments as entries from now until Thursday evening at 6pm Mountain Time(because I have to go on to a swim meet on Friday and I won't be online for a few days. Which falls into the category of too much silly information you don't need, but I'm feeling a little giddy)

Here's the blurb for I'm Not Her!!!

“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut that readers of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen will savor.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sister's Saturday with THE ROECKER sisters!!

There are some people with such a knack for warm, quirky humor that when you read their blogs and tweets you feel an immediate desire to be their best friend forever.  Lisa and Laura Roecker are totally those people.

And they're sisters! Who wouldn't want a sister relationship like these two have?? I mean they write books together. That just rocks hard.  And they're funny and made of win and the witty blogs and tweets make you feel giggly inside!

Let's talk to Lisa and Laura!! Hey Roeckers, how did you two decide to become “sister authors?”

L&L:  We decided on one of our many, random late-night phone calls. At the time, Laura lived in Baltimore and was on maternity leave and Lisa was doing the day job thing. We had both always wanted to write a book, but it was more or less one of those things we both said in passing. Once we teamed up and thought of a fabulous idea (um, yeah, turns out our fabulous idea was anything but), we just kind of dove into writing head first. Plus, Laura taught middle school and had read a lot of YA books--and she claimed it would be easy to get published. Famous last words.

Random late night phone calls. See? So cool. All right, where do you each of you fit into the birth order in your family?

L&L:  Lisa is the oldest and 100% type A. Laura is in the middle and still has middle child syndrome.

Janet has that, too. MCS that is. (middle child syndrome) So what's the age difference between you two?

L&L:  We are a little over 2 years apart.

Well. That certainly explains some of the closeness. What is the best part about being sisters?

L&L:  Having a built-in best friend who never (okay, fine, rarely) screens your calls. We're all here for each other no matter what and that's so reassuring.

Yes, because rumor has it there's another Roecker sister lurking around somewhere. *Apology to other Roecker sister. I don't literally think you lurk.* What is the most challenging thing about being sisters?

L&L:  I think growing up, it was being compared. We are all very different from one another, and sometimes it's hard to be lumped together as the Roecker sisters. Now I think it's just trying to find time to spend together. The older our kids get, the crazier the schedules. We try to do things without the kids, but that's equally hard.

Another geeky thing I find interesting is how different sisters and brothers are from each other. (I think this has intensified since I only have one child and I wonder how many of his personality quirks are my fault. lol) In families, in addition to being compared, we all seem to fall into "roles". What are your roles in the family?

L&L:  Lisa is definitely the boss. We all listen to what she has to say. But the true boss is our mom, the Regulator. No matter how old we get, we want, we need to please her. It's kind of ridiculous.

Not so ridiculous. The Regulator is a wise one. Tell me a favorite childhood memory of your sister?

L&L:  If we're being sentimental we'll reminisce about our post-bath story sessions with our dad where we all piled on top of Lisa's big bed and snuggled in. He used to tell the story of Teddy and his dog Moonglow who built a spaceship in their backyard shed and were always trying to get to the moon. He was so persistent!

If we're being real, we'll laugh about the summers that we were left to our own devices all day while our mom worked. We spent the long, hot days eating hohos, calling our mom out of meetings to settle our disputes and (occasionally) throwing underwear out the window.

Well at least this was probably in the days before thongs? Ohh wait. I am old, not you two, it could have been thongs. Don't tell me I don't want to know.  And speaking of secrets, do you share secrets? Do you want to spill one?

L&L:  Hmm...tough question. Yes, we do share all sorts of secrets. Lisa may or may not have known I was prego before my husband. The best part about having sisters is that you know you always have someone who will listen to you spill your guts and will never tell another soul.

Love!!! What is something you never tell your sister, but you should?

Laura: I'm not very good about confrontation. If I ever am upset (which is very rare), they'll never know it.

Lisa: I always worry that you guys are going to ditch me for being so bossy, but I just can't help myself. Sorry!

Aww. So sweet!!!  Okay. How about sisters in The Liar Society?

So unfortunately, Kate is a big, old only child. No sisters for her! But, there are sisters in our WIP. They look almost identical, but couldn't be more different. The older sister has a dangerous, almost self-destructive streak and the younger sister is bookish and observant (almost obsessively so). Despite their differences, they do care about each other deep down, but it takes a strange turn of events to make them realize it.

Sounds super intriguing. But first, The Liar Society!!!  I, for one, cannot wait to read Liar Society for even more of that snarky humor and it's out soon --as in March 1!!

Thank you Roecker sisters for stopping by!!!     Visit them here:  Liar Society Website of Cool

Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, who died mysteriously a year before, she’s not so sure. When the emails continue, Kate is forced to confront her school’s resident druggie, a sketchy administrator, and even her own demons.

As Kate moves closer and closer to the truth, she teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not so)shining armor–the dangerously attractive, bad boy, Liam and her love-struck neighbor, Seth. The three uncover an ancient secret lurking in the halls of their elite private school with the power to destroy them all.

But the truth doesn’t always set you free. Sometimes it’s only the beginning.

Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a love of all things Young Adult. Some call it arrested development, but the sisters claim it keeps them young. Plus, its cheaper than Botox. Lisa and Laura live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. THE LIAR SOCIETY is their first novel.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Five

1. Going to NYC in May. Flight is booked. Hotel is booked. Oh yeah baby. I is going.
First BEA, first trip to the big city.

2. I am so over winter in so many ways.  Every Spring and Summer I tuck the horrible memory of cold cars and winter coats away in my mind, and somehow every year I'm always shocked and dismayed when it returns. And lasts so darn long.

3. I have no plans for this weekend. My house is a mess. Guess what I should be doing. Wonder if I will.

4. I got a look at my cover for IF I TELL. Squeeeee!!!! It is totally not what I expected but very very cool.

5. I LOVE my ARC`s for I`M NOT HER so much I would marry them if book marriages were legal in the province of Alberta. And polygamy since, you know, I`m already married and all.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

SISTERS SATURDAY- Meet a Twin Brother! J.A. Yang!

Today I am happy to say that we have a twin on line to talk about his sister! Um. Yes!!  A male author with a female twin sister, J.A. Yang, author of EXCLUSIVELY CHLOE.  He has a really cool TWIN relationship (and I think you might just fall a little in love with the sweetness that is Jon)

J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.

Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- unicorns. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one. You can find him online at

So Jon. Where do you fit into the birth order in your family?

There's only two of us and I'm the older twin. However, family lore says that up until the last few weeks, my sister was slated to come out first but somehow I fought my way to the front and came out two minutes earlier. Whew! I wielded the "I'm older than you!" line quite a bit growing up, even if it was by just a few breaths.

Breaths are important and hey, we take what we can get right? So tell us what your sister is like?

My sister has a contagious excitement that tends to spread to the people around her. If she's psyched about something, she'll let you know about it repeatedly and after awhile you find yourself compelled to be excited along with her. Growing up, that meant I was pulled into her gravity and liked all the things she was obsessed with, such as New Kids on the Block and Sweet Valley High, etc.

My sister was boy crazy growing up and I saw her through a lot of boy drama. Saw from afar I might add, because we rarely talked about it. Any information we dug up about each other's crushes could potentially used for retaliation at a later point. We guarded our secrets carefully. Luckily we've mostly outgrown that habit but it took a good twenty five years.

Boy drama is good material for you books! And I bet you continue to grow closer! So, what is different about you and your sister?

In many ways we are complete opposites. She's good at math, I was good at humanities; she had cool friends in high school, my friends played video games and Dungeons & Dragons; she's responsible, I own a toaster. After spending our college and post-college years apart, we had some time in the same city recently and found out that we actually have more in common than previously imagined. We tend to react to things about the same, with her being a bit more emotional, but now we start to notice our similarities as opposed to our glaring differences.

Dude. A toaster is totally responsible! So, what is the best part about having a twin sister?

The best part is never feeling completely alone. Growing up we switched schools a few times and each time, regardless of the friends we had or didn't have, we'd have someone else experiencing the same basic life. Always having a person that knows you around, and who is (usually) loyal to you is something that can't be overlooked. At the end of the day, being twins means you've got a partner in crime any time.

A partner in crime can never be a bad thing! What's the most challenging thing about being twins?

She has the more unique name so we're always referenced as "Georgette and Jon," never "Jon and George." (Oh, everyone calls her "George.") She always gets top billing. Maybe deservedly but still. People tend to remember her more than me and I'm quite often referred to as "George's brother."

So people were all like, hey, George's brother wrote a book? Hee. I tease. What were/are your roles in the family?

Being from a somewhat traditional Chinese family, I was usually treated as the older brother. One thing my parents insisted on though, is that the house rules applied equally to both of us. Up through high school, I had no traditional social life to speak of and was constantly at home. My sister had actual friends and would battle for later curfews and I would reap the benefits even though I never did any of the fighting. Through primary school, I always got slightly better grades and she was more of a cause for parental concern. During college, my sister flipped the script on me, graduated with honors, and got a respectable job and career. Somehow I collapsed and became the black sheep of the family as I meandered to and fro. I'm still trying to dig myself out of that hole. One day!

Um. You have a TOASTER.  But seriously (this is the mother in me now because yes I am one hundred years old and I was a late bloomer) we all develop and thrive at our own pace. But I guess with a twin, with all the good stuff there is also a lot of comparing. I think you're doing great though! Published author and all! So what is your fave childhood memory of your sister?

We grew up in Taiwan and because my parents weren't able to take care of both of us at the same time -- they both worked -- we were often in the care of our grandparents. George was with my dad's family and they lived an hour to the south. On the weekends we'd visit and she'd always rush to bring me our house slippers.

Awww. That is so cute. And what a fascinating background. Okay. So now we want to know. Does your sister know secrets about you? Can you share one? How about one of her secrets?

I can't share secrets about her, she would kill me! And I certainly can't give her any of my secrets because there's still a chance she'd use it against me! Usually we find out about each other's secrets through our mutual friends. Even with our newfound respect for each other's secrets, we still don't quite tell each other things straight out.

Arrrrgh. One of these days I will spill a major sister secret online. Yes I will!!! But not today. :) Okay, next question, what is something you never tell your sister, but you should?

Um, that I'm glad she's here and that I appreciate our bond and connection? No question mark, just an exclamation!

That is made of awesome! It's great to have a person who is always there for you in spirit. True confession, I totally miss that for my son. I wish he had a sibling, a SISTER who would have his back no matter what, cause it sounds to me like that`s what you and your sister have. Last question, how does your sister feel about having an author brother?

I went straight to the source for this one and here is her answer:

"It definitely has its benefits and is a great way to start a conversation when meeting someone for the first time. When someone finds out that I have a twin brother, one of the first questions they always ask is what his profession is and when I mention that he's a published author, the conversation easily flows into what type of book, the premise of the book and so forth. I pride myself on having extra autographed copies of the book at all times to potentially give away and it makes me feel just a little bit special. My one greatest fear though is that his books will one day blow up into Harry Potter status and I'll be left in the dust as a boring accountant. Oh wait, that might have happened already."

How much do I love George's answer! See! She thinks you' re awesome. And helpful in social situations. And you totally have a toaster dude!!

Thanks so much for answering my questions so thoughtfully and honestly Jon.  I anxiously await your next book.  Check out  EXCLUSIVELY CHOLE by J. A. Yang.

Chloe-Grace can't help it she's spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well she's the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe's sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world's attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a "normal" kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a "make-under" at the hands of her mother's fabulous stylist, she enters the "real" world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blurbing Awesome!

OMG such amazing books!! Sarah creates such wonderful emotional characters and her books are so rich and multi-layered and just plain delicious.

So. How THRILLED am I that Sarah has given me a blurb for I'M NOT HER????

Yes. Yes. VERY!!!!!

"Gurtler's writing unfurls with the exquisite grace of a flower. Readers will cheer Tess' triumphant awakening as she blooms in the shade of insecurity, family tragedy, and sibling rivalry to discover a strength and beauty all her own."

- Sarah Ockler, bestselling author of Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Attention Wal Mart Shoppers

I admit it. I love me some Wal Mart. I love bargains. I live for deals. I have been known to proudly boast paying only $3.94 cents for a new pair of cute green shorts (true story) when someone complimented me on them. Okay, they were from Superstore (you have to be Canadian to get that reference) and not Wal Mart. But really. Kind of the same idea.

And while yes, I did spend over a year as a toy rep, and that involved daily visits to numerous Wal Mart stores where I quickly learned to say "sorry, I don't work here," to cranky customers...I still love shopping for deals at the giant WM.

I don't go to the People of Wal Mart page on a regular basis. And while it's mean I have to admit it's kind of funny, oh thank god I haven't been caught and posted on the site (yet), funny.

Go Here if you are inclined

But I digress. Wal Mart has a warm fuzzy spot in my heart. Especially the day after holidays. Deals. Sales. RollBacks!!!!

And so how THRILLED was I to discover that I'M NOT HER is available for order online at Wal Mart. Be. Still. My. Beating. Heart.

AH! Look. I'm in WALMART!

On days like this, it rocks being a published author!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I do not like writing a synopsis. It is hard to summarize an entire novel in a couple of pages in a way that sounds even remotely exciting.

2. My stomach is not happy. Mexico and my stomach did not get along. I can quit you Mexico. Yes I can. I liked your beaches and your warmth, but it will take a while before I forget this.

3. I have been eating bread, bagels, muffins and butter exclusively for almost five days. I am feeling the weight as it piles back on. Curse you  Mexico.

4. Explaining to a non writer how you can be on the computer for six hours and still not be done all your "stuff" is kind of a hard.

5. I don't like it when people call writing books a hobby. 

6. I love spell check.

7. I like eating cinnamon toast and bagels even though my body doesn't. 

8. I owe my mom a phone call.

9. I have never Skyped. Maybe I should start with my mom?