Friday, December 27, 2013

16 Things I Thought Were True - Publisher's Weekly Review

The first trade review for 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE  is in!!! From Publisher's Weekly reviewed on December 23, 2013.

"Rocking out to ‘Sexy and I Know It' in my underwear is a totally good idea. #thingsIthoughtweretrue," tweets 18-year-old Morgan after her former best friend posts a mortifying video of her on YouTube that goes viral. Most chapters begin with a humorous tweet along these lines, reflecting the wisdom Morgan gains in this romantic road-trip story from Gurtler (How I Lost You). For Morgan, Twitter is an arena for her creative writing, as well as a crutch in awkward social situations, but she needs in-person support after her mother is diagnosed with heart disease. Her mother also divulges information Morgan has been waiting her whole life to hear: the name and location of the father she assumes abandoned her. Along with her "cute in a smart-nerd way" friend/crush Adam and exuberant new acquaintance Amy, Morgan travels from Washington state to British Columbia to track down her father. The story takes an abruptly dark turn at the end, but even this underlines the novel's theme that one's expectations rarely match up with life's realities. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jill Corcoran, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency. (Mar.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays!!

Things are pretty quiet on the blog front right now.

December is a BUSY month for everyone. Holidays, parties, broken feet (oh maybe that was just in my family)

I want to take a moment to wish everyone who finds themselves on this page for one reason or another, a happy holiday season. May your days be Merry and Bright! Happy Reading! Happy Holidays! Happy Whatever You Celebrate this time of year!

I'll see you in the NEW YEAR!! 2014 Baby. Where does the TIME GO??!!!

Happy Holidays!
Check back in the NEW YEAR.  I'll be doing some fun things in 2014, to prepare for the upcoming launch of my newest book


Releasing March 4, 2014 but you can pre-order now. If you're the pre-ordering sort and all!

Barnes and Noble


Indie Bound (look for your local indie bookstore here!)


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to get a Free copy of 16 Things I Thought Were True for your class!

So yesterday I shared Leanne Shirtliffe's classroom's work on #thingsIthoughtweretrue.
And today I'll show you her Grade 12's #thingsIthoughtwere true!

My favorite is Hogwarth's sending you an acceptance letter when you're ten! And wait, eating celery doesn't burn more calories than you intake?? Hmm. #Istillthoughtthatwastrue

If you're a teacher and you want to ask your class about #THINGSITHOUGHTWERETRUE
and send me the answers, I'll send you a free copy of #16ThingsIThoughtWereTrue when it releases in March, 2014!

Send your classroom's thoughts to write4me at shaw dot ca!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Open Call to Teachers!

I was chatting with the lovely publicist at Sourcebooks this morning. We were chatting about the upcoming release of #16 Things I Thought Were True. It's coming FAST!!! March 4th for the curious!

Anyhow, a feature Derry thought would be super fun was going to TEACHERS and having them ask their kids about #Things They Thought Were True.  We're going to post the responses from the kids on here! So if you're a teacher, go ahead and ask your kids...what things did you think were true when you were a kid?!

I asked amazingly talented and funny author/blogger AND teacher, Leanne Shirtliffe. Leanne is the author of super funny parenting book, DON'T LICK THE MINI VAN.

Check out Leanne's Blog HERE!
Leanne sent me this back right away and I thought I'd share so you get an idea!


Remember, don't eat pop rocks. Or splash in the tub!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Happy to have been selected as part of the CANADIAN AUTHORS ASSOCIATION WRITER's IN SCHOOLS program for Alberta! Want this great organization to pay for the author visit?

NOTE THAT Canadian Author's Association covers the writer's fee!

Schools have until DECEMBER 16 to book authors!

Book ME for your school HERE!!

Check out the website for more information!
 Here's my presenter bio and presentation!

Janet Gurtler - Calgary

Janet Gurtler writes contemporary young adult novels for Sourcebooks Fire. Although her books are published by an American publisher, Janet is very much a Canadian writer. Her books are available at Indigo/Chapters as well as independent booksellers across Canada and in Canadian libraries.  Janet’s novel, I’m Not Her, was a double Rita Finalist in 2012. Her books have also been selected as top YA Fiction Titles for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association and included in the Bank Street Books Top 100 Fiction. Janet’s latest book, How I Lost You, was released May, 2013. Her next book, Sixteen Things I Thought Were True, releases in March, 2014.

Janet has spoken to schools around Alberta about books and writing. Reviewers have compared her work to Sarah Dessen and Judy Blume.

Janet lives in Calgary with her husband, son and a chubby Chihuahua named Bruce. She is slightly addicted to chocolate and the internet.
Good story telling encompasses many things. Critically acclaimed Young Adult author Janet Gurtler will lead an interactive discussion about great kids’ books, such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fifth Wave, and what makes them so good. She’ll talk about how writers can bring readers into the world of characters by showing instead of telling the readers what is going on. She’ll look at what makes good characters so intriguing.

Janet will read from some books, including her own for example, and also let the kids talk about which books work for them and help them figure out why. This is an open discussion that also leaves lots of room for questions about publishing and the world of fiction.

Janet will also talk about the role of book covers and how they are chosen. This includes a Powerpoint presentation, an entertaining look at some of Janet’s book covers that did and did not make the grade and open discussion about why some covers do and don’t work.
Presentation area: Calgary and area; willing to travel over 100 km

Targeted grades: Grades 4-6, Junior High and Senior High

Preferred class size: Classroom up to 30 students

Further information:
Twitter: @janetgurtler

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Snow Day

Another Sunday! It's snowy and cold in these Canadian parts and I'm supposed to be resting, so it all adds up to a day of reading and relaxing. Not so bad.

Started a non YA book last night, So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman. Gorgeous writing and enjoyable storytelling so I'm all in for today!

The past week I got back to Book 6 with Sourcebooks Fire. Also working on some MG outlines for Mermaid books. That's fun and different channelling my inner 11 year old vs my inner teen.

I also went to a lovely old private school in Calgary and did 4 presentations to four different classes. The classes were separated by gender, so I did Grade 8 boys, Grade 7 girls and then Grade 9 boys and Grade 9 girls.  It was interesting how different the classes were, a good show of the stages of teen years. 

As I predicted the Grade 9 boys were kind of bored with me and the Grade 9 girls were in the same reading space.

The biggest surprise were the Grade 8 boys.  At the end, for fun, I showed them a really great review quote, followed immediately by a really terrible quote, on the same book.  Just to show an example of the subjectivity of reviews and how different people respond differently to the same work. Well. The Grade 8 boys were so defensive of the poor reviews and really were quite offended on my behalf. So cute. Such a great lesson to me about writing characters in the right voices. 
Here's what I showed them. They stood up for me fiercely!

ØBravo to the author, Janet Gurtler for writing a novel with perfectly flawed characters and a realistic plot that effortless flowed. I have nothing bad to say about this book.”
Ø“I'm almost offended at how crappy this book was. “
Ø"Rich in characterization, Gurtler's novel wrestles with some serious issues and explores different means of coping (or escaping) yet manages not to be overwhelming or bleak. Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, this is a strong debut that attempts to answer the question, What does it really mean to live?" - Booklist

Ø“This book was one of the worst books I have ever read.”
Ø"Cute and quirky, with sentimentality reminiscent of Judy Blume, this is a book for the keeper shelf – one that readers will devour again and again!" - RT Book Reviews
ØI was surprised to find to find this book on the LA Times summer reading list: I'd been pretty unimpressed myself. ”

Monday, November 11, 2013


Was trolling around the Internet and noticed this nice review for WHO I KISSED, which I really think addressed something I've heard a few times about the book...

Here's a section of it... Warning. *It's very positive.

Which is why I'm posting it. Ha ha ha.

On Librarything:  WHO I KISSED

"Some people read the synopsis and have a moment of disbelief, as if the story couldn't possibly be good because the premise is so odd. If any variation of this thought pops into your head, immediately grab hold of it and fling. Or better yet, set it on fire and burry the ashes.

Who I Kissed is so much more than the story of a boy dying from an allergic reaction. Not only does Samantha have to deal with the tormenting of her peers, the mass media attention, the hurt appearance of Alex's sister in the hall way, the dissolution of an important friendship, and the fading of her dreams, but these events are all added to the important family matters that have been filed away and ignored. The story isn't about Alex, it isn't even about severe peanut allergies. Not to downplay Alex's role, but he is more of an instigator to events than the subject of the novel itself. "

Le hug ilikethesebooks. If you want to see the full review, you can find it here

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Mumblings

Yesterday I ate fudge for dinner. I realize this isn't very adult-like. Or healthy. But it was very delicious. And seriously. How often do we get to EAT FUDGE?? And how often do we eat it for dinner? Twelve year old me approves. 16 year old me does not, but she had lots of food issues, so ignore her.

The reason I ate fudge for dinner. Other than I'm an irresponsible adult. This is where I spent most of my day...

Banff.... And they have gift stores all along the main strip. And they sell fudge. And bearclaws.
And all sorts of other really unnecessary but FUN stuff! I spent hours walking in and out of stores.

First though I went to a YA workshop put on by Canadian author, Theresa Toten.  I did not know her, and admit I haven't read her work yet, but I really enjoyed her and the workshop was fascinating to me as a writer for many reason.

First of all, the room was full of young adults. They were creative writing students. They were AWESOME. Theresa did writing exercises and made the kids stand up and read from their exercises and I was BLOWN AWAY by the talent in this group. It was so cool to hear what they wrote. Funny, poignant. Talented kids! I loved it. And I was like a kid in high school again, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me. I was intimidated and didn't want to share my work. Again. The part of me who is an insecure teen seems to live on.

I am weird.

Next week, I'm off to Surrey BC for the Surrey International Writer's Conference, where I'm presenting 2 workshops. One on YA Cliches and the other on Writing Captivating YA. And I have no trouble doing presentations, or reading from my books at them, so why won't I share my work with teens at a workshop? I guess because I am weird. And I eat fudge for dinner.

Check out the SIWC!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Book, New Look!

So excited about my new book coming out MARCH 4, 2014!

16 Things I Thought Were True.

The new book has a new look from my others and I'm really really madly in love with it. I think it captures the tone of the book. What do you think??

Here's the back cover copy!


Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

Hope you like it and add it to your reading list! Coming March 4, 2014!!


Enter HERE

Pre-Order now from Your Fave Bookstore!!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Actually, there's no blood. But I was lazy when I was title thinking and went with the rather obvious U2 reference. Lame. Yes. I admit it. I embrace it.  The lame. Some days we are all made of lame.

So here I am, sitting around on a coolish Sunday morning. The hubster is out of town, the almost teen is upstairs playing Minecraft (the person who invented Minecraft must be living in a mansion right)  and the chubby Chihuahua is napping on the couch beside. me. He snores by the way. Chronically.

Any who, I'm doing my usual cruise through my social networking places and suddenly had an urge to babble-blog. I thought about working on the novel I'm working on, but didn't feel the vibe. And since it's Sunday, I don't have to if I don't want to. Ha. I l like that.  And I passed by my blog as I surfed the net (is that totally an old phrase now or what) and realize I never just babble anymore like I used to. Um. A few YEARS ago. So here I am. Babbling about nothing. No book shouting, promo yelling stuff. Just me and randomness.

So. September is closing down.

Fact. I am almost DONE my Christmas shopping. It's kind of easy for me because I only have one child and he's almost a teenager and a swimmer so most of his gifts now kind of have a theme. Swim stuff to be exact. That's what happens when you become a teenager. Your gifts get PRACTICAL.

I online shopped for my away presents so pretty much only have the hubster left. And since we're building a house that we'll be moving into in the Spring. Um. He's getting a tree.  A tree CERTIFICATE to be exact. That he can cash in at Spring time. I can share this because he has, to my knowledge, never set his eyes on this blog, and I feel pretty safe.  See how I did that. Bought him something we NEED but made it personal. It will always be HIS tree. The one he got for Christmas.

Summer went by way fast this year. It was a good summer. I hung out with my son at the cabin for almost a month and it was nice. We had friends out on and off, and we boated on hub's boat, and life felt pretty good. I've never made much of a secret of how much I HATE the cabin, but this year it was actually kind of nice.

I am a spoiled brat for hating the cabin, I know that, but please understand I never had any desire to build a cabin. My husband wanted to. And suddenly we were. Building a friggin cabin. And we have to drive 8 hours to get there and 8 hours to get home and it is a MONEY PIT. Also, please remember I don't even like cleaning and cooking at one house never mind a house AND A CABIN.  And then there was the painting and cleaning and building and driving and blah blah blah. Well. That is what marriage is sometimes. Compromise.

And now we have this lovely cabin, which is much nicer now that it's DONE. Well. Almost done. Which will probably be a permanent state. Still. Just for the record. Not my favorite. Every holiday is, yes, you guessed it. The cabin.  I wish I loved it more. I wish I did. But I don't.

Anyhow, never meant to go off on that tangent. Christmas shopping to cabin hating. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Anyhow. Babbling has been fun. Now I have to get ready for the day. A fun day. Swim banquet for Superson. Hubby home tonight. Maybe a run. Sunday. Le sigh.

Until the next babble session urge strikes....have a great Sunday. And a great life all 'round.
Over. Out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Want to read excerpts of HOW I LOST YOU for FREE? As in FREE!!!

Join me on Wattpad and read the first three chapters and continue on in the story over the next few weeks. What a cool idea brought to you by the fine folks at Sourcebooks.

Click HERE to read for FREE!!!

ALSO....Cover REVEAL for 16 Things I Thought Were True will be next Coming soon!! Jean the Book Nerd's Site will host it. Check for it early October! What?? October already??

Jean Book Nerd

Can't wait.

I've seen the cover and I have to admit.

 I. LOVE. IT!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Janet Gurtler Website

Okay. True Story. I am not that terribly savvy when it comes to web hosting and web "Stuff".

And when I bought the domain for Janet I had no idea what I was doing. I bought the domain with one place and then switched to another because, oh,  did I mention I didn't know what I was doing? Paid both places for the same service. You know. No clue.

So a while back, I think I got some notices about the domain expiring. I didn't pay much attention because I wasn't sure if it was from the one I was still really with. I suspected it was spam, and someone was trying to milk money from me. Also...I had it in my head that I had bought the domain for 10 years. Um. Nope. Turns out it was 5.

So. Bottom line. My domain expired. And someone else bought it. And I can only imagine that if I try to get it back it will cost me more money than I'm willing or able to pay. Le Sigh. Someone owns a website with my name on it. That's kind of weird if you think about it too long.

Also, the moment I found out about the website take-over, I also found out my wonderful Web Host over at Glass Slipper Web Designs had a family emergency.  Which is totally understandable and all, but my point is, I don't even know yet if I can get the info that was on my website, back on a new domain site. Ugh. Second heavy sigh.

In the meantime, I'm feeling kind of naked on the Internet. In a manner of speaking. No website at least. That's sort of naked? No??

I'm still pretty easy to find... please don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything while I get this web thing worked out. is the best place to find me. Or I'm on Twitter @janetgurtler. Or on Facebook.

So actually, it's not like I'm really gone at all. Right? I'm just not parking at anymore. Someone from Japan is. I hope he likes it there. Maybe he'll write some really great books and post them for free. Or give out free jelly beans to everyone who visits?

Hopefully I learned a lesson here. Right? ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO EXPIRY NOTICES. Even if you suspect they are fake. Or maybe next time, I'll ask my teen son to help me figure out if they're legit.

Yeah. That.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#16 Things I Thought Were True

Still waiting waiting waiting for the new cover for 16 Things! I saw a mock-up with an idea of the new direction they're going and it's FABULOUS!!! I really really love it, and hope you will to!!!

Meanwhile, here's the new cover copy for the book. Check it out...

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Things I Thought Were True- The Beatles

    I thought that the Beatles were a band of little bugs who sang inside of the clock-radio on my mother's nightstand. #thingsIthoughtweretrue  
-Bethany Hegedus

Bethany Hegedus has spent time above and below the Mason-Dixon Line. She cares deeply about kids, having once been a high school teacher and also a youth advocate. She serves as a mentor in the PEN Prison Writing Program and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Bethany is Co-Editor of the Young Adult’s and Children’s section of the literary magazine, Hunger Mountain and is Austin Host of the popular website She is the author of Truth, With a Capital T. (Delacorte/Random House)m Between Us Baxters (WestSide Books, 2009) and the upcoming picture book Grandfather Gandhi, co-written with Arun Gandhi (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, TBA).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Things I Thought Were True- Chip On Your Shoulder Style

I thought when my mother said, “He has a chip on his shoulder,” that the guy actually had a potato chip on his shoulder.
#thingsIthoughtweretrue -Lorna Schultz Nicolson

Lorna Schultz Nicholson is a full‐time writer who divides her time between Calgary, Alberta and Penticton, British Columbia. She has published over 20 books and they include children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction and many non‐fiction sports books.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Collecting some hilarious "things I thought were true"-ism's to celebrate the release of 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE. This one made me and my son laugh out loud literally!!!

"When my little brother was about three, my sis and I convinced him he came out of the Rice Krispies box as a prize and when we added milk to him he beccame a real boy. "  Deena Lipomi #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bad Boys

This picture is the inspiration for the next bad boy I write. The half grin. The squinted eye. The "OH GIRL I AM GOING TO CRUSH YOUR LITTLE HEART BUT YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE IT" look.

This could have been Casper in WHO I KISSED

Bad Boys. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I was a weird kid, which is probably why I've turned out to be a weird adult. Of course, when I say weird now, I actually mean it as a compliment.

Why thank you, self. Your welcome, Janet.

I thought a lot of things were true. Things that turned out to not be true. I'm going to start listing them randomly on this blog. Because it's been neglected this summer, while I went to the mountains in BC and enjoyed the summer sun.  A little bit of swimmers itch. Boating. Broken boat that needed to be paddled to shore and then rescued. Bear spotting. Oops. I digress....

Things I Thought Were True.

#1- My Mom goes to school and turns into my Fourth Grade teacher. And then sheds her disguise and beats me home.

Honestly. I thought this. I couldn't figure out how my mom ALWAYS knew what was happening at school, and this is what my brain came up with.  I remember being CERTAIN that she went to school, disguised herself and that was how she knew. It kind of freaked me out for awhile.

Weird. Meet Janet.

Any weird things you thought where true when you were a kid???

Thursday, July 11, 2013

16 Things I Thought Were True- Update!

HOLD THAT PHONE...Or whatever it is you are holding. Your pen? No...your keyboard keys! Wait, not really holding, so much as typing and scrolling at the very least....
In a NEW and EXCITING development, it looks like I will be getting a BRAND NEW COVER for 16 Things I Thought Were True.
As lovely as the original was, rumor has it a spectacular new cover has been in development.
Well. Where is it???? I hear you ask. Or think. Sometimes I am psychic like that.
It's coming!!!! Can you wait???
Can I wait????
So stay tuned.... for a new NEW COVER REVEAL for
March 2014!!!!!

What do you do when a video of you dancing in boys underwear to "Sexy and I Know It" goes viral?


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Have You Lost Me?

Hello blog land! I totally disappeared there, didn't I???

It's been crazy busy in these parts with school and grads and writing stuff, and now I'm on summer holiday mode! I have some blog catching up to do, but will be travelling to Edmonton for swim championships and then off to the mountains! So blogging is on a short break!


HOW I LOST YOU has been out in the world for a while now. I had my book signing in Calgary and last week in Winnipeg. Fun! Some reviews have come in too! Check it out...

How I Lost You Reviews.
“…the novel explores female friendships in a thought-provoking way. The paintball plotline adds a unique angle, as does the presence of a third close friend who happens to be a guy. There's no hurt quite like best friend hurt, and that's something Gurtler captures well.”  Booklist.

 “This is a relatable story about nurturing a friendship, and it's not every day that teens will have the chance to read about paintballing. The lesson that Grace learns is a good one, and the strong female characters are a plus…”  School Library Journal

“Gurtler gracefully negotiates the powerful emotions that accompany a changing friendship and brings the game of paintball to life with fascinating detail.”  Publisher’s Weekly

I'll be around on Twitter (@janetgurtler) and on Facebook and you can find my email on my website so if you need to chat you know where to find me!!
In the meantime, have a GREAT SUMMER! See you soon!

Friday, May 24, 2013


The iBookstore Book of the Week, I'm Not Her, is a special book to me.

I really loved writing it and I've really loved hearing from so many readers about how the story touched them in some way! It was emotional to write and I'm glad that emotion was felt by many of the readers!!

Another really cool part of getting I'M NOT HER published writing a dedication.

I was really excited to dedicate the book to my own sister, Tracey MacLeod and also to her daughters, my nieces, Ciara, Carly and Cede. btw- they all appear in my novels at some time or another or I borrow their names and give them secret appearances.Carly is in every book. My good luck charm.

Cede, Carly and Ciara

I was able to keep the dedication a secret until the Arc's of I'm Not Her came out. It's a small thing, but it meant a lot to me to dedicate the book to my sister and her girlies!

Things like the dedication are the really fun parts of being an author!

Click HERE to download a FREE COPY on iBOOK STORE

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Looking Back on a Book Release.

I'M NOT HER released in May 2011.  It had an adventurous journey to the shelves. When the book first sold it was called THE WEIGHT OF BONES. 

Soon after the sale, the acquiring editor for my publisher, Sourcebooks, left. I was a little frightened until I got a call from my now editor, Leah Hultenschmidt. She was delightful and assured me she loved the book, but oh... how did I feel about a title and cover change?

I was a little sad again until I saw what the design team came up with. I'M NOT HER! And I knew it was the best thing to do for the book. And it was!

The day that I'M NOT HER released I walked in the Bell Help Line Walk a Thon to help raise money for kids who need someone to talk to. I got a snapshot taken with a storm trooper and then had a giant celebration piece of chocolate cake! Do I party hard or WHAT??

The month I'M NOT HER released I went to NEW YORK for my first time and attended Book Expo of America.  That was one of the cooler things I've done. It was both wondrous and overwhelming. 

Later in May 2011, I had my first book signing at Chapters/Indigo in Calgary for I'M NOT HER. Many wonderful friends showed up to buy my book, support me and eat delicious cupcakes. Since then, I've made cupcakes a tradition at book signings!

One of the highlights of  I'm Not Her releasing was seeing books on store shelves at Indigo and at local independents in Winnipeg and Calgary.  I also had a book signing at MCNALLY ROBINSON, an amazing bookstore in Winnipeg, where I lived for many years!

I had no idea what to expect from my first experience with Sourcebooks but was really pleased when it turned out that I'M NOT HER was selling well! Since that time I've been on a multi- city book tour (for WHO I KISSED) and was nominated for a RITA, well for two RITA's actually-- for Best YA and Best First Book for I'M NOT HER! (Rita's are top awards for Romance Writer's of America- a huge honor!)

It's been a fun ride with Sourcebooks Fire! They are a great distributor of books and I'm so happy to be on the shelves at major bookstores,  AMAZING INDEPENDENTS ACROSS Canada and the USA and in ebook form on online stores. It truly is a dream come true.

And TODAY, all week long actually, you can get I'M NOT HER for FREE as it was selected to be the iBOOKSTORE BOOK OF THE WEEK on iTunes. Pretty cool right?

Click here for FREE DOWNLOAD!

I hope you enjoy I'M NOT HER (and maybe pick up other Janet Gurtler books!!!)
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog for a walk down the lane of memories!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ode to My Sister!

Originally posted in JULY 2010, I thought it would be great to revisit this "Ode to My Sister" blog post to celebrate iTunes choosing I'm Not Her as iBookstore Book of the Week. Which includes a FREE DOWNLOAD!! Find it on the iBook store!

Click HERE for FREE DOWNLOAD of I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Ode To My Sister
I have a sister. She is three years older than me. She doesn't look it now, damn her, but she is. Older. So there, older sister.

Growing up I envied her so much. She was taller than me, with long skinny legs. My legs are short. Kind of stumpy. She was thin. I was not. Well. I was for awhile, but I had some serious body images troubles and struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin. We have two brothers as well, and I ended up closer to my older brother because rumor has it I was kind of a pest to her. In reality, I thought she was cool. Much more confident and sophisticated than me, three years her junior. I just didn't know how to tell her that. So I didn't.

When she was in high school and I was in middle school, she had cool boyfriends.I was shy around boys who weren't just friends. Super shy. Tongue freezing up in my mouth, soft voice, red cheeks, shy. I have a really embarrassing story about one of her boyfriends who I thought was the coolest dude ever, but I'll shorten it. He was in a rock band. And he was cute. And I walked by him with a big puffy skirt tucked into the back of my pantyhose. Yes. I did.

After that she met a boy whom she would eventually marry. She was in Grade 12 when they first started dating. I was in Grade 9. Years apart at the time. She moved away from home early and I never really felt like I knew her that well. But she was my sister. And I cared.

Our family moved when I was in Grade 12 and my sister stayed behind with her boyfriend. They got married and I was in her wedding party, but I was a messed up teen and we never really connected.

After a couple of years of college, I moved to a small town that was close to where she lived, and she would come and visit me. She started to treat me like an adult. An equal. I started to feel more comfortable with her, but we are and were very different, her and I. My sister is uber responsible. Serious. I can be kind of a goof, and not so responsible.

When she and her husband split up, she called me. We talked and for the first time, I felt a like I was the one with clarity. I felt fierce loyalty to her and her situation and tried to make the transition smoother with our family. We had a long distance relationship, but we both knew we were more than friends. We were sisters.

She got through it of course, and we had grown closer. She started a new life in a new city with a new man and I visited her, more as an equal than little sister. But it's hard to change roles. Eventually she had her first child. She called me when she was in labour. When she had her first child, it was love at first sight. For me. I was Auntie and I think that made my sister relationship stronger again.

My sister had another baby (more Auntie love for me) and then she ended up moving to the city where I lived, the same city as our parents. For the first time in years we lived in the same place and I was so happy to have her there. I loved her kids more than I'd ever loved anything. She had one more little girl and I loved them all to pieces.

I, on the other hand, started to go through a rough patch in my life. I broke up with a boyfriend, and was lost and spiralling out of control. My sister saw what was happening, but I had to go the road myself. Finally I took an opportunity to transfer to a new city, in sort of an effort to save myself from myself. My biggest regret about moving was leaving behind my sister's little girls.

Eventually I came to terms with my demons and my sister was there when I reached out. I got myself together and started a new life for myself. When I got married, my sister stood beside me. She was perfect in her role, and I was proud to have her and her girls in my corner.

When I had my child, my sister came to visit, to finally get to play her own role as Auntie. She was worried about me though and it soon became apparent I had a bad case of PPD. I made it through that, with several calls to her, and our long distance relationship stayed strong.

My sister and I have our own path. Our road to the relationship we have today was built on becoming adults. She is a person who really understands me. She knows intimately where I've been what I've been through, and I know the same of her.

I still look up to her, and I still envy her long legs, but I also feel that I am her equal now. Her shorter, chubbier equal. Our age differences became meaningless years ago. As a bonus, I know she loves my child as much as I love her three amazing girls. If anything happened to me, I know my sister would be there for my son and I would do anything for her girls if they needed me. Sisters themselves. Sisters who have their own story and their own role, but a very important relationship, that I know will grow stronger over time.

We are very different people now, my sister and I. We have different lives, in different cities, but I know in my heart that she is in my corner, rooting for me, as much as I am in hers.

Being sisters can be complicated. But, it can also be wonderful and enlightening. I feel very lucky to have my sister in my life. Even if she is thinner and taller.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

iBookstore Book of the Week is I'M NOT HER!!!

What what??

I'm Not Her is the iBookstore Book of the Week!!! So what? you ask?? Well. It means you can download it from iTunes for FREE!!

I'm Not Her was my first Sourcebooks Fire Book and don't tell the others, but still one of my favorites!

You can download a copy of I'M NOT HER for FREE on iTunes starting TODAY.

Click Here to Download I'M NOT HER for FREE!!


I'M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler

"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. But, 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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

PW Review of How I Lost You!

Taking a momentary break from the best friends series to get my revisions done for 16 Things I Thought Were True and the upcoming long weekend. Back next week with more fabulous YA Authors!!!

In the meantime, if you are so inclined, here's the PW review of How I Lost You. My first Publisher's Weekly review I might add!

How I Lost You

Janet Gurtler. Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7794-8

Gurtler (Who I Kissed) examines how unconditional loyalty between friends can sometimes lead to unhealthy self-sacrifice. Seventeen-year-old Grace and her best friend Kya have always put each other first, bonded by a chilling secret from Kya's past, as well as a mutual love of paintball. Forgiving Kya for her sometimes selfish and destructive behavior has always come naturally to Grace, in light of Kya's past trauma, but when Grace meets a cute, reliable guy named Levi, finding a balance between making excuses for her best friend and pursuing a budding love interest becomes challenging. Kya's recklessness causes problems for both girls; she makes them miss an important practice and acts inappropriately at another critical paintball event. Gurtler gracefully negotiates the powerful emotions that accompany a changing friendship and brings the game of paintball to life with fascinating detail. Readers may tire of Kya's antics before Grace finally takes a stand, but they'll understand the difficulty of moving on from a toxic relationship that once felt like it would last forever. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jill Corcoran, the Herman Agency. (May)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I'm Jealous of these Two Best Friends!

Super cool writing team on the blog today!!! Best friends and co-writers. How cool is that!  And check out this bio. I am a little geeked out!

Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting are each half of a writing team. The two met the first day of freshman year at the University of Southern California and instantly bonded over their obsessions with Brenda Walsh, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Babysitters Club books they read growing up. After spending a full year mourning the end of college, they began writing television and feature scripts together. They have set up pilots at ABC, NBC, Fox and CW, and sold films to The Weinstein Company, Happy Madison, Paramount, New Regency, MGM and Alloy Entertainment. They love writing female-centric stories, especially for teen and tween audiences, mainly because they still think they are the 18-year-old girls they were when they first met at USC.

Let’s find out about how these two became best friends and what they entailed.
So, how did you two meet? 

The two of us (Alyssa and Jessica) actually met and became best friends freshman year in college…and we then followed that up by living together after graduation and becoming writing partners. Not only are we in touch, but we’ve worked together almost every day for the last ten years! People say not to mix business and pleasure, but in our case, it’s been fantastic…we can go from discussing a character arc in our novel straight to discussing whether one of us should cut bangs and back.  

That just sounds AWESOME. So, did you ever have a big fight?  

Despite the fact that we’ve worked closely together for so many years, we really don’t fight. In fact, our biggest tiff occurred before we were friends, when we first met…we actually hated each other at first sight! It was the first day of classes freshman year at USC and Alyssa was sitting in the classroom, feeling homesick. That’s when Jessica showed up to class fifteen minutes late, her platform shoes clicking loudly on the tiles and interrupting the teacher. Alyssa eyed her disapprovingly and wondered, Who is this incredibly rude girl (who wears four inch heels to class!)that is NOT someone I’d ever be friends with. Meanwhile, Jessica took one look at Alyssa glowering at her from the corner and thought, Who is that miserable depressed-looking girl who refuses to crack a smile? Note to self: Steer clear of her!  A few weeks later, though, we both had to stay after class to speak with the teacher, and we started talking to each other on our way back to the dorms. We haven’t stopped since.

Love!!! So did you have a favorite song, or a favorite place where you hung out?

Our favorite song is Say My Name by Destiny’s Child because we made complete fools of ourselves singing it for a Karaoke night at a super trendy bar in Hollywood. We were so terrible that we got booed off the stage by the crowd…which was mortifying at the time, but now utterly hilarious to us.

One of our favorite places to hang out has to be the Japanese sushi restaurant and bar behind our old apartment. When we lived there, we’d go there all the time for dinner with each other…or when we were feeling super lazy, we’d yell down from our balcony to the waiters (our friends) who were hanging in the alley outside of the kitchen to bring food out for us, then one of us would run downstairs and bring it up for the other. We don’t live near there anymore, but we can’t drive by it without remembering all the fun nights that started there.

Best memories ever! So what did you guys most love to do?

Nothing better than a good old fashioned gossip session followed by watching some reality television together with lots of breaks to discuss the drama (our favorites are The Bachelor and Bad Girls Club. Yes, Bad Girls Club. We love it!)

Um…yes please!! What did you love most about your college best friend?

It’s almost narcissistic for us to answer this question because we’re so similar it’s frightening. We grew up on opposite coasts, but after fifteen years of friendship, some people (our husbands) are convinced we share a brain. We usually finish each other’s sentences and we’ve also mastered the art of having conversations with our eyes which definitely comes in handy during work meetings.

What did you learn from your best college friend?

We both remember the very first thing we learned from the other person. Alyssa grew up in a fairly small city in Virginia that is not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion and style. So at the all important age of eighteen, as the two of us were listening to Madonna’s Immaculate Collection and getting ready for a fraternity party, Jessica taught Alyssa that before you blow dry your hair, you have to put product in it. Alyssa and her hair have never looked back.

When we moved in together not long after that and lived in our apartment for about a week, Jessica’s room was overtaken by an Eiffel Tower-size pile of clothing on the floor, plates of old, crusty food, mugs of half-filled coffee and popcorn kernels that crunched beneath your feet as soon as you walked in. This is when Alyssa taught Jessica how to use a mop. Though Jessica doesn’t always make a habit of using this wonderful skill, it was an important life lesson she hasn’t forgotten.

So great! Are your relationships different at this stage in your life? How?

We’re still close with all our friends from college, though we obviously don’t see everyone nearly as much. In college, you can spend three days straight with each other and not even realize it! But what’s amazing about the bonds we formed then is that even if we haven’t seen someone for months, we always pick up right where we left off—definitely the sign of a strong friendship.

As for the two of us, we lived together until we were twenty-five and got hit with the next stage of our life—Jessica got engaged. We still laugh about the day when we realized the wedding was only two months away and it was probably time for Jessica to move in with her fiancé. We thought everything would change after that, but the only person whose life shifted was Jessica’s husband who didn’t quite realize he was gaining a second wife (something he made sure to warn Alyssa’s husband of a few years later). Then this September, we entered another phase—Alyssa moved from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and again, we thought things might be different being across the country from each other. But we Skype for work every day and make sure to start early because inevitably the first hour will be devoted to hearing about what happened to each other in the last fifteen hours, TV recapping and analyzing ad nauseam any problems one of us might be having. The most impressive thing about friendship by far is that we actually get any work done at all.

You two sound so fun and what a great story of friendship! Thanks so much for sharing it today!!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Best Friends with a Sister Writer!!

Sister authors, Laura and Lisa Roecker, are two of my favorite YA authors in the world! They’re full of win and so many other good qualities and are great authors on top of all that! I was lucky enough to go on a book tour with the sisters last year and they are totally great fun and worthy best friends! You’ll love them!

Lisa and Laura Roecker wrote the Liar Society series and also have a new book coming out this July called This is WAR. I’m SOO excited to read it!

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, it’s cheaper than Botox. Lisa and Laura live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. THE LIAR SOCIETY series was their first novel.

So, today Laura was nice enough to take time to talk about her teen best friend, so join us while we chat! Did you have a best friend in high school? If you did, are you still in touch?

Yes and yes. Beginning in middle school, I began to grow close with my best friend. We'd have sleepovers, hang out after school, go to movies. Her family even took me on vacation with them. We are still best friends to this day. She was in my wedding and I was her matron of honor.

Ah!! I KNEW it. You’re a best friends for life girl!!! I love that. So. Did you ever have a big fight?

Unfortunately, yes. It involved a boy. But mainly involved me being stupid and insecure. If I wanted to save our friendship, I had to make the first move, which I finally ended up doing. I had to apologize for being dumb and thank goodness I had the sense to!

A good learning lesson for sure. So, did you have a favorite place where you hung out?

Everyone loved hanging out at her house. She had a pool and an awesome family and it was always lots of fun. 

I wonder if you used sunscreen? I hope so. How much fun to hang out at a house with a pool! So what did you and your best friend most love to do?

When we were little, we loved to dress up in stupid, crazy outfits and take pictures of ourselves being goofy. As we grew older, we loved to lay out in the sun or go shopping.

Sunscreen?? Hmmm! So what did you love most about your teenage best friend?

She has always been very naturally beautiful. Didn't have to try hard to look pretty--never had braces or acne or any of those awful teenage maladies. One would think a person like this would be stuck up, mean or snotty, but she is always kind to everyone and has a huge heart. I love this about her. 
Um. I hate to point it out. But have you looked in a mirror lately! But I love that you are so humble. You truly are. So what did you learn from your best teen friend?

I learned to embrace everything that life has to offer and to do it with grace.

That is a great thing to learn!! So do you think your relationships with friends different at this stage in your life?

Yes. We are all very busy with our families, work and life in general. We do not talk nearly as much as we used to, but when we do, we have marathon conversations to get up to date. We also live far away from each other and keep in touch mainly through Instagram and social media. But despite the distance, it works and I still consider her one of my closest friends!
That is amazing! She sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing today! I look so forward to reading new book!

This is W.A.R. begins with a victim who can no longer speak for herself, and whose murder blossoms into a call-to-arms. Enter four very different girls, four very different motives to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan, and only one rule to start: Destroy James Gregory and his family at any cost. Willa's initials spell the secret rallying cry that spurs the foursome to pool their considerable resources and deliver their particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won—and the pursuit of the truth ultimately threatens to destroy them all.