Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Monkeys are Here!

Remember how I mentioned that people who pre-order THE TRUTH ABOUT US will get a BRAVE MONKEY key chain? Well. They arrived at my house yesterday. So. Much. Cuteness.  Remember to send me your proof of purchase and I'll send you out your own BRAVE MONKEY!!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Coming April 2015,  THE TRUTH ABOUT US!

Sometimes the person who's most different from you is the one who makes you feel like you belong.

When Jess is caught drinking and inappropriately face-timing boys, her dad orders her to spend the rest of the summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Thrust into a world where her own problems no longer seem so insurmountable, Jess meets Flynn, a guy from her high school who comes to the soup kitchen for meals with his adorable little brother. Slowly, Jess and Flynn begin to know and trust each other, despite their different backgrounds and the prejudice of their families. But as their relationship intensifies and outside pressures escalate, can they find the strength to stay together?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jenny Hubbard- 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt

As part of the 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt I am so excited to welcome author Jenny Hubbard to my blog.  I was a big fan of  William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist book, PAPER COVERS ROCK and Jenny's new book, AND WE STAY sounds equally delicious. I've got it on the top of my books to purchase list!

Jenny has written a thoughtful and useful guest post about how she writes!

Please enjoy!

Guest Post:

Jenny Hubbard:  How I Write

 Every writer’s process is different.  There is no one path to follow that leads to a complete novel.  But here are a few things that I do that help me get the job done.

 I don’t try to write every day of the week.  That’s either too much pressure or, given my non-writing life, too unrealistic. I write five days a week. When I first started, I treated it like physical exercise: an hour or two in a single sitting.

At the end of a writing session, I leave off in the middle of a chapter, the middle of a paragraph, the middle of a sentence, even. That way, it’s much easier to dive right in the next time I sit down at the computer.  If I leave off at the end of a chapter, I’ve found that it’s harder to get started again, with all that blank space staring me in the face.

Before I reread what I’ve written, I produce at least 25 pages, and preferably 50.  I’ve learned the hard way not to edit myself too soon.  And I’ve learned to give myself permission for the first draft to be messy, weak, and flawed.

I’m often asked how to combat writer’s block. I have now three sure-fire weapons in my arsenal. 

1) I go for a walk with my dog Oliver to clear my head, where the story is jumbled, and, if I’m lucky, a thread will unravel itself so that by the time Oliver and I get back home, I’m able to sit back down and weave it neatly into the narrative.

2) Because I also write poetry and plays, I simply switch genres.  Working on an entirely different piece for a little while recharges me.

3) This is the one that works every single time:  I take ten pages of the book I’m working on and start over from a different point of view:  same story, but a different character telling it.  The voice in both of my published novels arose as a result of this process.  (In fact, I wrote the entire books over using different point of view, but if that seems too daunting, try ten pages.)  Finding the right voice, the right perspective, for your particular story is probably the most essential part of novel-writing.

And how do I get started on that very first day?  I start the story in the middle of the action, which automatically propels me and which will always place the reader right there with the characters. 

And what do I do once a finish a complete draft?  I set it aside for a week, and when I return to it, the real craft/work/fun begins.  The art of writing is in the rewriting.  Rinse, lather, repeat, over and over again, and you might very well have a novel in your hands.



If you'd like a chance to win an audio book of And We Stay, please comment below. (US only)

 Book Summary

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend, Emily Beam, and then takes his own life. Soon after, angry and guilt-ridden Emily is sent to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where two quirky fellow students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson offer helping hands. But it is up to Emily Beam to heal her own damaged self, to find the good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.


Author Bio:

A former high-school and college English teacher for 17 happy years, Jenny now practices what she preached: the discipline of rewriting, which, in her humble opinion, is the key to a writer’s success.
Thanks so much to Jenny for a wonderful post!!
If you live in the US and would love to win a copy of Jenny's Audio Book, please comment below. One winner will be randomly drawn from comments on October 31 at midnight.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Road Trip

I'm off to Saskatchewan!

Road Trip.

Me and 28 of my favorite swimmers. And 2 coaches and another chaperone. And a bus driver. Wheee!

Yup, I'm one of the chaperones for the Foothills Stingrays Swim Club. One of the benefits of working from home.

Pack all these kids on the bus for an eight hour ride and then 3 days of fast swimming before we head back home.

It'll be a busy few day of making snacks (swimmers love to eat) and well, chaperoning. But also a few extra hours on the bus each way that I will be using to write!

Go Stingrays!

Don't forget to check in to the blog on October 26 as I'll be hosting an AMAZING author as part of the 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt.

Look for my COVER REVEAL for THE TRUTH ABOUT US on Jennifer Brown's site.

Monday, October 20, 2014


The cover reveal for The Truth About Us is coming next week as part of the 2014 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

Also, if you pre-order THE TRUTH ABOUT US and send me your proof of purchase (scan, email, etc) I will send you your very own BRAVE MONKEY keychain.

Brave Monkey shows up a few times in THE TRUTH ABOUT US and he can be yours to hang on your purse, backpack or keychain to help you be brave!!

Find my email on my website. and send me your proof of purchase to get your own BRAVE MONKEY!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Truths

I wonder if it's a good sign that October has arrived in such a lovely way in my part of the world.  I hope so.
Beautiful colored leaves are drifting to the ground just the way they're supposed to. A warmth is in the air, with a hint of cool underneath, perfect for sweaters and high boots.

Fall. I really do love it, even though it's followed by winter and winter is well. Cold. And Dark.

September was a month of getting back to routines. Swimming and school for Superson and back to writing for me.  I'm working on my adult romance trilogy now and having a blast with it. I hope to release the first two right after Christmas, along with a free companion story about a mysterious woman who ties the romance stories all together, brewing up magical coffee meant to bring lovers together at The Incanto Café.

The romances are sweet but with complicated characters. The characters always have to run a little dark and twisty when Janet Gurtler writes them. WINK WINK.

It's contemporary romance with a twist of magical realism. And it involves coffee. Wonderful magical coffee that may or may not bring troubled souls together. Mmmm. Coffee.

The first story is Sedona and Samuel's. It's hard to tell which one needs the other more but their lives are both complicated and plagued by dark secrets they keep from the world. Will they be able to trust in each  other and find the love they deserve, or will doubts and darkness keep them apart?

I'll post more when the stories are ready! Lots to be done before then. Like finishing them!

Later this month I'll be REVEALING the new cover for my APRIL 2015 YA Release, THE TRUTH ABOUT US! The first reveal will happen on the wonderful Jennifer Brown's blog as part of  The 2014 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

As part of the hunt I'll be hosting Jenny Hubbard, the author of AND WE STAY.  I can't wait to read this one, it's being moved to the top of my always HUGE To Be Read list. I'll read it before Jenny is here, why don't you join me!!!

Check back soon!

Happy Autumn!!!

Love Janet




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Truth About Us

The edits are sent in and soon I will be able to share the cover!!

The Truth About Us has gone to copyediting and will be on sale April 15, 2015!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Revisions on THE TRUTH ABOUT US have been submitted!

This one is more of a romance than any of my other YA's!  Hope to post the cover soon, but for now...a teaser. This plays an important role in the book.

You'll have to read it to find out why!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer's Almost Over?

Oh, how quickly time flies by. A cliché, yes,  but also a truth. I hope you had a great summer and that it included lots of good books. I've read lots of great books the past few months. Last night I finished up See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne. Really a great page turner. I also read lots of women's fiction as well as many other great YA's like Prodigy and The Tempest.

All in all it's been a fun summer so far. Hot weather out at the cabin, where we enjoyed some boat time with guests. Cabin time is fun time. And now I'm back at work time.

I'm currently working on the revision notes I got from my editor for my Sourcebooks Spring 2015 release, THE TRUTH ABOUT US.  Lots of rewriting!! Hopefully it will be worth it and you will love the new story.

The Truth About Us is about Jess, a troubled teen forced to work at a soup kitchen when her spoiled behavior gets out of hand. And Flynn, one of the guests at the soup kitchen, who might be the one person  who understands her. But can they ever be together. Or is it too hard?

 I hope to share the cover soon. The first glance I got at one was a brilliant one, so let's hope it stays!!! Stay tuned for a cover reveal.

I also found out that the mermaid middle grade trade book I wrote for Capstone will release in March (according to Amazon and Netgalley!) The trade book will have 3 of the shorter stories under one cover and it's called SECRETS BENEATH THE SEA. Here's the cover....cute???

I've seen the book mock up and the artist is Katie Wood and she's done a great job! The book is for ages 7-10. I hope the girls love it as much as I loved writing it. So fun!

Today is also AUGUST 22 and it's the 16th wedding anniversary of me and my husband Larry. Time really does fly. It seems like yesterday in some ways, and a hundred years ago in others!

Soon the boy will be back to swimming,  and back to school and I'll be writing my new romance trilogy that will be coming out in December 2014!! In time for Christmas!!!

Enjoy the rest of the summer. After all, it's not over yet!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer's Here!

Well, it's official in the Gurtler house. It's summer! The weather may not necessarily agree but today was Superson's last day of school so that's a sign! Wait, I was going to go off on a tangent, bragging a little about how great he did in school this year but I officially embarrass him. Just by being. So I'll resist (sort of, see how I slipped that in there. A ninja. That's what I am.)

Anyhow. It's the circle of life. Ish. The embarrassing parent part. I used to have them. Now I probably embarrass them too. Ha ha!

So, what's new in my world, you ask? Okay, so you didn't, but I'm kind of talking to myself here so work with me.

My family and I moved to a new house a few weeks ago. THAT was a lot of work. Packing. Cleaning. Moving. Unpacking. Whew. Glad it's over. Of course, we have no yard and there's still lots to do. But it's starting to feel like home. We're living in a town outside Calgary and it's awesome.

A while back I finished up my YA, THE TRUTH ABOUT US, which is supposed to come out in April 2015. Still waiting for edits and revisions, so that should be coming up soon.  I finished up the MG series about 4 MERMAIDS who live in a magical Mermaid Kingdom. Those are coming out in the Spring too.

I'm currently working on an adult romance series. Romance, but of course there's got to be some dark and twisty in there too, since, well I'm writing it. I'll be releasing my series in time for Christmas. I'm super excited about the series, it's lots of fun to write and quite different than YA.  Yes. There's some kissy stuff. And stuff.

It's centered around a mysterious woman who works at Incanto Café, a coffee shop, where she brews up a little more than just coffee.  The stories revolve around couples who need a little help in the love department.  First up is Sedona who recentlyt got dumped by text by her boyfriend of 12 years. For her best friend. Ex best friend. And Samuel, who runs an ultra successful dating service that is currently suffering from some bad press, who needs to keep it successful so he can continue to provide proper care for his mentally ill sister. Neither one of them is interested in a relationship, but they're drawn to the Incanto Café and well, things begin to happen.

So, lots of writing going on in these parts, hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the summer! Off to the cabin after son's swim championships in July.

Mama MacLeod is coming along for the ride, and we're all looking forward to some time out in beautiful British Columbia.

Mama MacLeod

Friday, June 6, 2014

16 Things About 16 Things

1.       In Chapter Seven there’s a carving on the table in the staff room. It says JM+LG. That’s me and my husband. (my maiden name is MacLeod) Awww. Isn't that sweet?

2.       A hospital in the book is named after my niece, Marcede Grace

3.       I stayed at a Hostel in Victoria, BC when I was in my early twenties. (as the three do on their road trip)

4.       I came up with the idea of doing a road trip to Canada from Seattle when I was at ALA for a conference

5.       Morgan’s brother’s car is my husband’s car- a 442 Cutlass. I am happy to report however that he does not have fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view like the one in the book does

6.       My editor made me cut the scene in the taxi cab way down (when Morgan goes to visit her dad) because she thought he was acting creepy

7.       I got the idea about her obsession with twitter followers from being on twitter

8.       Fredrick the Chihuahua and Aunt Allie from WHO I KISSED make a brief cameo in this book!
9. I  love hashtags a lot.  I think everyday life should have hashtags

10.   When I subbed the book to my editor it was called, Because of You. I suck at titles.  None of my titles have made it to the published book.

11.   Amy is based on someone I met and I loved the quirk and talking with a filter so much I had to make her into a character.  She’s more quirky on the page of course

12.   On a less happy note, one of the writing friends who I acknowledged in the end of the book, passed away from cancer before the book got published.  Leslie Carmichael was a little bit Amy and she is missed.

13.   There was an earlier version of the cover that followed the circle pattern of my past books and it was really nice, but I like the  new direction and think it portrays what the book is about better

14.   Libby Sally (the doctor) is one of my friends who told me she wanted to be a character in my book. So I made her the doctor. She was very happy

15.   I dedicated this book to a book blogger, Jean Vallatros. She hung out with me at ALA in Seattle when the book was coming together, and she said something that made me want to dedicate the book to her. Her name is spelled wrong. :(

16.   Josh’s Movemeber mustache mentioned in the book came to me when a friend of mine grew one in November. He wore 70’s sunglasses and rocked the 70’s vibe the entire month (to raise money for Prostate Cancer) and I thought it was admirable, but also very hilarious


Monday, March 24, 2014

Divergent Movie somehow turns into How I Lost You rambling.

Last night I went to see the Divergent movie with my son and my husband. (There may have been over consumption of popcorn during viewing of the movie.)

So. I enjoyed the movie. I was a little worried about it from the trailers but I ended up liking it. I know some people are saying things changed in the movie vs book, but honestly it was so long since I read it that I couldn't remember and didn't recognize the differences.

I liked the girl who played Tris. I was not all that sold on the actor who played Four. He was handsome and he was a good actor and he's probably a really nice person and someones favorite son, but to me there was a little bit of a lack of chemistry between the two? Maybe it's just that his character is a bit harder to like than say, Peeta. Because it's really hard not to compare those movies. And I have to say, Hunger Games the movie won over Divergent the movie, while when I read Divergent I remember saying I liked Divergent the book better. Interesting.

Anyhow. Like I said, I liked the movie. Did it do the book justice? I don't know.  My son and I read the book a couple of years ago but I do remember loving it. I like the movie. I didn't love it.

This was in no way meant to be a slam. No. I will see the next movie when it comes out. And I kept thinking how Shailee (is that how you spell her name?) would be in John Green's movie too. I'm looking forward to that one to. The Fault In Our Stars.

I wish a movie person would make a movie out of HOW I LOST YOU. I think Shailee could be Grace in that movie too.  Speaking of HOW I LOST YOU. It's crazy how many reads that book has gotten over at WATTPAD. Over 1.2 million. That's a lot. Too bad all those people didn't buy a physical book, ha ha. Everyone on Wattpad is asking for a sequel, and yes, I did leave a lot to the reader's imagination. That said, I'm going to write an epilogue for readers on Wattpad to tie those ends up, because in my mind I know what happens.

In the book I'm writing now, THE TRUTH ABOYT US, the book that is stuck on the hard drive of my other laptops (but that's a whole other post that could end in tears and ranting) The Truth About Us, James shows up and so does Steven Blender. Steve Blender is a BAD BOY. That's all I say about that right now.

Anyhow, true rambling. Hello movie producers looking for a contemporary film about two girls and how they lose their friendship while playing kick ass paintball. You should read How I Lost You.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Yeah, so a couple months zipped by without me posting any blogs. (hangs head in shame)

I have been BUSY though. That's an excuse right???

I am currently working on my 6th Sourcebooks Fire book called THE TRUTH ABOUT US. It's due pretty soon so I'm on a fierce deadline.

I'm also writing an MG series for Capstone Books about MERMAIDS. There's four books to the series and they're super cute and fun to write, but they have deadlines as well!

Plus, I'm taking a Magazine Writing Course and writing magazine articles. All this while working on some promotional "stuff" for 16 Things I Thought Were True!!!


And now it's only 2 days. 2. DAYS!!

And 16 Things will be out on bookshelves and online.  March 4!!! WHEEEEE!!!!!!

Hope that if you buy a copy, you like the book! I hope you feel for Morgan as she negotiates her way into real life. And fall as much in love with Amy and Adam as I did!

I have a BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. And a 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE  Long Sleeve T-shirt!

All you have to do is leave a comment with something YOU THOUGHT WAS TRUE, and I'll do a random draw on March 4. Like in TWO DAYS!!!!!


INDIE BOUND- find it at your local indie bookstore!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

2014 has a nice ring to it! A friend commented recently that even years are so much better and I totally agree!

Not that 2013 was so bad.  The worst thing that happened, didn't even happen to me, it happened to poor wee 13.  Broke his foot a couple of weeks ago and out of the swimming pool for a month. Tough break (literally) for a competitive swimmer.  He's a distance guy and has worked so hard this year and was soooooo close to the time he wanted and then.....fracture. 

He'll heal and all will be well I hope, I just felt so bad for him when after two weeks, we thought he'd be back in the pool and the doc put him back on crutches with no activity for another two weeks.

Anyhow......Christmas holidays weres good. Cold.  Overindulgence. But my sister hosted us this year and I got to see lots of family and catch up with some friends, so a great way to spend the season!

As for 2013, well, lots of great things happened last year. I'm going to spread out my celebration of last year over the next few days. In the meantime, here's a huge celebration for 2014!!

16 Things I Thought Were True was picked as a JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD selection.  This made me really, really happy! I've gone back to the website approximately 1, 000,000 times, give or take, to make sure it really is true. And well. Yes!!! It is!!


What a great thing to find out to ring out 2013 and ring in 2014!!

Hope you had a great holiday season.  I have a good feeling about 2014! Let's do this thing!!