Category Archives: Sarah Dessen Celebration

The Magic of Sarah Dessen – Emily

The Sarah Dessen Birthday Celebration finished up over a week ago but this was a late submission that was too good not to post. Since this is the release day of Along for the Ride, I thought it was very appropriate to hear straight from the horse’s mouth (or in this case teen’s typing fingertips) what is so special about Sarah Dessen’s writing.

Thank you to Emily for writing this in such a chaotic and sad time for her. My best wishes to her and her family.

~ ~ ~

Sarah Dessen’s magic first found its way to me on a weekend shopping trip to the mall. I was wandering around the book store, trying to find something—“anything, Emily”—because my family was starting to get impatient. I hadn’t gotten lost in a good book for a while, and I didn’t want to rush my choice because I really wanted this one to be a good one.

Just Listen was the perfect find. I’ll admit it was the cover that first caught my attention, (which is ironic considering one of its many themes is the whole “not judging a book by its cover” thing) but the title held it, the back of the book pulled me closer and that short blurb at the beginning, my first real taste of Sarah’s words were what really drew me in and decided it. I had to read this book.

While I was reading, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that had captured me. It could have been Annabel’s soft voice with its beautiful lack of confidence or the rhythm of the story and the way it moved so fluently until it seemed as if I was living it myself. Maybe it was the amazing way this Sarah Dessen had of connecting every tiny detail so her story all balanced and laced back to its center. It could have been Owen who I loved from his first moment on the page or the all-you-can-eat bacon or maybe the music. In truth, it was all of this which I loved individually and altogether and other things that completed it in a way I can only hope to one day accomplish.

Either way, I knew I loved it by the way I never wanted to put it down, and yet I always did just so that I could make it last a little longer.

It was when I was reading it for the second time, though, out loud to my sister during a week long power outage on some of the hottest days of June that I realized one of Sarah Dessen’s most powerful ability: she has an undeniable talent at connecting every one of her readers in some way to each of her stories.

“You know what, Emily?” My sister said once during that week. “Annabel reminds me of you. You are just like her.” And I realized it was true. From her hesitant tendencies to her confrontational phobia, the girl was a fictional me. Even her relationship with her two sisters bore a resemblance to mine and it hit me why the book had touched me on such a deep level. Annabel’s flaws and struggles were the same ones I found myself facing.

So of course, after a practically life changing reading experience, I sought out more. I came to learn that a movie I’d been particularly fond of, “How to Deal” was based off two of this woman’s books, one of which (That Summer) I even owned and had yet to get around to reading.

I also discovered that Just Listen wasn’t just one of those one hit wonders you sometimes see with authors, but that every one of her published pieces had all the amazing qualities I’d appreciated of my first experience with her work. Sarah Dessen was consistently remarkable from her realistic characters that either jumped right out of the pages or pulled you down into them and their emotional stories that sucked you in. They all had that balance, that center which everything led back too and they were so full of different ideas, pains and lessons, it’s impossible to not find something you could link back to yourself. Love, loss, truth, family, confidence and friendship. It’s like she knows the secrets of the world, and shares a little bit of her wisdom with her readers with every book.

It’s all of this which I’ve come to admire and love about her art and one day wish I can pull off in my own writing. I know that if I ever get published in the future, it’ll be because of everything I’ve learned from watching this exceptional author and I will always appreciate her for that.


Day 31 – The Finale (Adele)

Ta da! This is the final post for the Sarah Dessen celebration that has been running all month long. Weirdly, after sending out many super secret enquiries, answering questions, scheduling posts and organising this SarahPalooza – I forgot to write my piece. Delaying the writing of this post was the worst thing I could have done. I have read posts from some of the great authors of YA and some very talented bloggers too, and I wonder if there is anything else that I can say.

Turns out there is.

Sarah Dessen came to me out of nowhere. Well that’s not entirely true; she came to me in the form of Mandy Moore (someone I have had a long time fixation on). Upon watching How to Deal, I was struck by a few things:

1) Mandy Moore looks awesome with short, dark hair.
2) Allison Janney can never be overrated.
3) Civil War re-enactment uniforms are kind of hot.
4) Macon is a weird name.
5) Scarlett should totally recruit me as an alternate best friend, and
6) The teens felt real.

It was this last point that struck me. I love teen movies, despite it being a while since I was one myself. The same goes for YA fiction. But too often teens aren’t depicted in a realistic manner because many adults are afraid to be truthful. So we’re stuck with twenty-seven year old actors playing sophomores who are getting laid every day of the week, or caricatures of geeks, nerds and cheerleaders or even worse, endings tied with a red, shiny bow.

Within minutes of finishing the movie (along with an search) I came across Sarah Dessen. THE Sarah Dessen, the Sarah Dessen that I usually refer to by both her first and surnames collectively ( Sarah never really feels like enough).

I got addicted to her blog. I looked for her books…I really did. But in my city in Australia, Sarah Dessen isn’t really known – I know, it’s a travesty. I loved hearing about her book tours, hearing about her getting addicted to sad and pathetic television shows (don’t we all?), the new shoes she’d just bought (love the beauties in the new vid), her husband’s new hobby and Sasha’s new personality quirks. In a completely non stalkery way, I felt like I knew this woman as a friend. Reading her books was a simple step forward, if not a little backward.

I read what I could – That Summer from the library, The Truth About Forever and Just Listen from bookstores. I loved them. Sarah Dessen’s girls lived life in a way that I didn’t as a teenager. I drew strength from them, laughed at the shenanigans and cried with the injustices that they experienced. Then last year I came across Lock and Key. I read it in less than an afternoon and started a blog devoted to all things Sarah Dessen that night. The Sarah Dessen Diarist blog was born.

It’s been a year since I began writing my responses to each chapter of one of her books. Lock and Key, The Truth About Forever, Keeping the Moon, This Lullaby and Just Listen have been discussed. I have been very fortunate, Sarah knew about this little endeavour almost immediately (thank you Twitter) and linked the blog through her own. I think this summarises how lovely this woman / author / wife / mother is. Sarah also granted me an interview. I was thrilled, excited and mildly nauseated. It was amazing. I also didn’t realise what a big deal that was until later. Thank goodness, as that mild nausea would have had to have been upgraded.

I continue to be floored by this lady’s graciousness. It’s for this reason that I found so many bloggers and authors who readily contributed to this celebration. She’s admired, beloved and adored by many. She is a quality individual who just so happens to write quality YA fiction.

I would like to wish Sarah Dessen a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY, an awesome release for Along for the Ride (out on June 16th) and happy writing in her next venture. I would like to also thank all the authors and bloggers who took the time to share their thoughts and experiences with Sarah Dessen’s works. Hopefully this gives Dessen fans some reading matter in between finishing Along for the Ride and the 10th Dessen book out sometime in the future.

Lastly, I would like to share something personal from my life involving Sarah Dessen. When I turned twenty-five my mother remarried a lovely man. A lovely man with two teenage daughters. I was to be a step-sister, which I loved in theory but was extremely difficult in practise. The youngest was thirteen when Mum and D got married. She wasn’t all that interested in getting to know me and I wasn’t around enough or possessed enough tolerance to get to know her. We would see each other at most major celebrations, talk about unimportant things and I would try not to get offended when she would launch into a huge bitch session about her teachers (I’m a teacher). But things have changed in the two years after; we spoke more freely, greeted each other with hugs and discussed the awesomeness of Veronica Mars. Then Christmas 2008 happened – I bought her a copy of my favourite Sarah Dessen novel, Just Listen. She was resentful about having Christmas with us, she wanted to be with her mum, or friends, or whatever – she wasn’t happy. Stike that – she was bored and very unhappy. She unwrapped the book and looked at it with complete disinterest. I sighed, I was unbelievably disappointed. My streak of poorly chosen gifts had continued.

My mother later told me that driven by extreme boredom my step-sister picked up that book and demolished it in hours. A month later, she texted me to say that she had LUVD it. Now this might not seem like such a big deal but it truly was. She had had to ask for my number from my mother to get the number to send me that thank you. I grabbed this olive branch and went with it. I bought over my Sarah Dessen books for her to read, had a discussion about how divine Owen was and bonded. But more importantly, she was able to see something of herself in that novel.

You see I wasn’t aware of this, but my step-sister has some interesting eating habits. I don’t mean she’s smuggling food or ralphing after meals, but she was placing some unreal expectations onto herself and her body. I had inadvertently given her something she needed…Whitney.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah for giving me something important. A shared passion with my sister.

Day 30 – Read Her Once, Fall in Love. Read her Twice, You’re Addicted! (Adiba)

You know you love a book when you think it’s perfect, perfect cover , title and story, and Sarah Dessen’s books have it all. Sarah is my absolute favourite author and each one of her books is completely unforgettable.

What I love about each of her books is that they are always filled with different emotions, I feel love and heartbreak, loneliness and complete utter happiness.

With each of her books I fall in love every time, wanting someone to buy me cutlery and make me CD’s and help me be a kid again, seriously how many times can I fall in love with these characters.. each time I read Sarah’s novels I think where’s my Wes, my Owen my Dexter! Now I really want my Eli J

One of the many things I love about her books is that they connect, with recurring characters and locations.  I love finding them, like Truth Squad, The World of Waffles and the famous Quick Zip.

Sarah Dessen’s writing is just something else, I have read so many different books but I can honestly say The Truth About Forever was my absolute favourite YA book.

So Thank you Sarah Dessen and your fantastical writing!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And congrats on Along for the Ride

Adida is a new found friend from the Aussie publishing industry. She’s an enthusiastic Sarah fan…iobviously and generoulsly contributed this piece.

Day 28 – Timeless (Sherryl Clark)

sherrylI can’t remember which Sarah Dessen novel I read first – I just know that I was bowled over by her ability to get right inside her characters and make them totally believable. I teach creative writing as well as write, and I often use examples from Sarah’s books in class (and hopefully inspire a whole new bunch of readers). 

Here in Australia we have a wealth of terrific YA writers, but I think they “do it differently”. There is more emphasis on plot, action and being contemporary. For me, Sarah’s novels are about characters who are timeless. When I first saw the promos for Dreamland, I thought, Wow, someone has actually had the guts to write about relationship violence for YA? Amazing! How is she going to manage that? 

But of course she did – and wonderfully well. I had an opposite reaction to The Truth About Forever – the blurb sounded too ordinary! But yet again, the characters’ depths and complexities made this one of my favourites. In many ways, it’s easy to formulate a good plot with action and stuff in it that readers will enjoy. It’s a heck of a lot harder to write a book that resonates deeply with readers, that leaves you in awe of the writer’s ability to dive into imaginary lives and make them so totally real. 

As a writer, Sarah Dessen is one of those whose books make me envious and overawed, but also who inspires me to do better in my own novels. Not to take the easy way out, but to dig deeper into where the passion lies in each story and bring it to the page. Thanks, Sarah!

Sherryl Clark is an Australia author of many children and YA titles.  Her newest release, Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!) was last month awarded an honour for the CBCA awards.  Sherryl has both a blog and website.

Day 27 – Admiration (Sarah Ockler)

SarahOckler3_LWWA few years ago, after an insightful writing mentor suggested my work had a strong teen voice, I signed up for a young adult novel class offered by Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. For our first few meetings, in addition to submitting and critiquing manuscripts, we were to read and discuss Deb Caletti’s HONEY, BABY, SWEETHEART and SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. It had been a long time since I’d picked up a young adult read, so I was eager to check out the current crop of YA titles at the bookstore and reacquaint myself with the genre.

After finding my assigned books, I spotted HOW TO DEAL, a movie tie-in combining the books THAT SUMMER and SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Sarah Dessen. The last YA book I’d read before this serendipitous trip to Tattered Cover Bookstore was CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger, so I didn’t know much about Sarah Dessen — just that we shared a first name and with the movie tie-in version I’d get two books for the price of one. I picked it up, paid for the books, and walked out of the bookstore, unaware that the purchase would — don don don! — change my life forever.

No, seriously! I mean people say that all the time, right? But that book really did change my life!

*Inserts ominous music and movie announcer voice*

“In a world where closet writers are afraid to dream big, one aspiring author crawled out of the YA cave and into the blinding light of Sarah Dessen books, and *nothing* was ever the same again…”

After devouring both books in HOW TO DEAL, I was eager to get my hands on the rest of Sarah’s titles. Macy, Wes, and the Wish Catering crew made THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER my #1 fave, but all of Sarah’s books sparked something in me. They immersed me in a new and beautiful world — the world of contemporary, realistic YA fiction — and I knew after reading my first one that I wanted to write for teens.

*Pauses momentarily to let the gravity of this set in*

Listen, I hated high school. Truly. I spent *years* running fast and far away from the memories (which, if I let them, would probably give me hives even today) and then Sarah Dessen showed up and… well, let the life-changing begin! Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to revisit the momentous, insane, roller-coaster ride of the teen years. I wanted to dig up and sift through memories and tragedies and old stories and fuse them with words and new ideas and images until I could find a way to connect with readers the way Sarah’s books connected with me.

Making me return to high school on purpose? Even from the safe and anonymous comforts of my imagination? Yikes. Double-ewwww! That’s no small feat, Sarah! 😉

So I progressed through the Lighthouse YA class and worked hard on my YA novel-in-progress, developing my own voice as a writer, creating characters to tell the stories lodged in my heart and set free the words keeping me awake at night. Sarah Dessen and the characters who came to life through her books truly inspired me, encouraging and pushing me through the tough spots. I kept a copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER close by for silent moral support, and on one particularly tough night, I glanced over at the book, hoping for some kind of sign or message — who knows what my neurotic writer brain was thinking — but her last name on the cover was obscured by papers. All I saw was “Sarah.” And in that moment, in the briefest flash, I saw “Ockler” following that “Sarah,” picturing my own book cover and somehow knowing and believing what my husband always believed — that the day really *would* come for me. The day when I’d see my own book on the shelves.

Five years after reading my first Sarah Dessen novel and falling in love with YA fiction, that day has finally come. My YA novel, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, is out in the world. 🙂

Now I can say it officially. Thank you, Sarah Dessen, for unknowingly helping me achieve my dream. Sarah, you’ve inspired me. Your books and characters and their struggles and fights and celebrations got me excited about young adult literature and the possibility of writing for and about teens. I continue to anticipate and love each of your new books and am honored today to wish you every success, every joy, every happiness you deserve, and of course, a very wonderful birthday!

With much admiration and gratitude,

Sarah Ockler
Author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER (which is released day in all good book stores).  Sarah has a sweet website  that you should also check out. 

Tomorrow – Sherryl Clark, author of soon-to-be-release Bone Song.

Day 26 – That Winter (Luisa Plaja)

luisaYou’ll often hear me say something like this: “I started reading teen fiction before I was a teenager and I never really stopped.”

And it’s true – more or less. But there was a blip in my reading life, and that was when I first travelled from Britain to the suburbs of Boston, USA. It was a big career change and an odd kind of culture shock (partly inspiring my first novel, Split by a Kiss). And somewhere along the pond-crossing, reading slipped way down in my priorities.

Then one snowy winter’s day, I discovered the local public library. It was massive and majestic from the outside, calm and crammed with great books on the inside. Best of all, it had incredible opening hours – late evenings, Sundays – it was as if it had been designed with my long working hours in mind. Oh, and it was warm. Coming from a place where ‘winter’ generally means ‘a bit more rain’, I was over-optimistically dressed (“surely it won’t be *that* cold”) and so I’m not ashamed to admit that, for me, the library seemed like a useful place to defrost. And then I wandered into… the YA room.

It was huge and it had everything. Magazines, CDs, box set DVDs, audio books, and thousands of paperbacks by authors I’d never heard of, despite being a longtime YA fiction fan. I picked up several great books, including a book called That Summer by ‘new author’ Sarah Dessen. Within seconds of opening it, my passion for YA fiction had been re-lit. In That Summer, I found a main character who was an ordinary teenage girl, adjusting to the kinds of changes that many girls of her age face. I was immediately struck by the gentle introspection of the narrative. I loved the focus on relationships and Haven’s struggle to cope with a feeling of loss of control over life.

It drew me right in, and I was back in the land of YA for good. Now I’m back in Britain, too, and happy to see Sarah Dessen’s books gaining popularity here. That Summer will be released by Puffin in July, and I can’t wait to see it in UK bookshops and libraries. Sarah Dessen might even find new fans in readers escaping from a bit of rain…

I’d like to thank Sarah Dessen for her heart-warming books, and wish her a very happy birthday!

Luisa Plaja is an UK author who’s newest release is  Extreme Kissing.  You can find her website by clicking on the link.

Tomorrow – Sarah Ockler, author of 20 Boy Summer.


Day 25 – Connection (Michelle Zink)

michellezinkAs a writer of YA novels, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon; while I feel unusual compared to the people I meet in my every day life, I connect on a gut level with almost every other YA writer I meet. The only conclusion I can draw is that we share some kind of commonality. Something that makes us think about the same things. Something that makes youth more real and vivid for us than it is for many adults. Otherwise, how could we spend our professional lives so immersed in characters whose daily experiences seem so far removed from those of our adulthood?

Yet, we do, and in our midst there are those who recall it all with such emotion and such truth that we not only remember, but we feel it all over again.

Sarah Dessen is one of those writers.

From the moment I picked up my first Dessen novel, That Summer, I was captivated. I was captivated by the characters so meaningfully drawn that even something as seemingly simple as a girl who feels too tall, who feels lost in the life that adolescence has thrown her, felt painful and raw and somehow so… close.

When I read This Lullaby, I felt the pain of a young girl trying too hard to shield herself from life’s pain – and in the process shielded herself from its beauty, too. It reminded me that there are no guarantees. That no matter how old we get, standing at the edge of a cliff is still scary. And exhilarating. But that somehow, in that moment when you are standing at the edge with the wind in your hair, you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

And on and on it goes. Sarah’s work always leaves me with a profound sense of promise. Somehow, seeing everything through the eyes of her imperfectly perfect characters makes me remember all the joy and heartache and loss and love and euphoria that is life.

Not just teenage life, but my life, too.

Her writing is a reminder that it is never too late to stand on the edge of that cliff with the sky stretched out in front of you. To stand there and cry or scream or laugh into the wind.

And it’s a reminder that, even for me – a thirty-nine-year-old mother of four – it’s never too late to jump, either.

Michelle Zink’s debut novel, Prophecy of the Sisters, will be released in August of this year.  She has both a website and blog that you should swing by.

Tomorrow – Luise Plaja, author of Split by a Kiss.


Day 24 – Patience is a Virtue (Jennifer Jabaley)

jjI’ve been a long time fan of Sarah Dessen’s books and of her blog. When I was writing my young adult novel, I reread several of Sarah’s books to see what made them work so well. And, while several things of course contribute to her success, one thing that I kept revisiting was that in her writing, Sarah is so patient. She allows the characters to develop slowly through daily life (just like true friendships evolve) and she lets the plot unfold naturally, inch by inch. This is in such contrast to my personality and writing style where I am like an eager, panting puppy wanting to jump at the first opportunity to spill the beans. My editor would kindly say, “Let’s s-l-o-w things down. It doesn’t have to be winter just yet, let’s hang around autumn a little more.” Ah, it’s so easy for Sarah to be so controlled!

The thing is, with calculated, patient writing, the payoff is so much bigger. If you have to wait ten chapters for the couple to kiss, the kiss is that much more exciting than if they collide inside the first twenty pages. And I think this calculated patience must be intrinsic to Sarah for I’ve seen it done on her blog as well.

I’ll never forget the day I was sitting at my desk, casually reading one of her blog entries when at the bottom there was a little aside. Oh by the way, go to this link. When the link pulled up, there was a picture of Sarah, visibly pregnant, maybe six months along. Six months along and she managed not to blab to her fans???? Please, my two best friends were standing outside my bathroom door while I peed on the stick. I showed my baby girl her first birthday gifts before her party. I have no calculated control. I’m the panting puppy! Oh, how I admire Sarah for her patience in both her writing and, I suspect, in her life.

Jennifer Jabaley’s Lipstick Apology is released later this year. Jennifer also has great website and blog that you can check out.

Tomorrow – Michelle Zink, author of The Prophecy of the Sisters.


Day 23 – Gatecrasher (Emily Gale)

emgalephotoIt’s unusual for me to be late for anything. I arrive almost everywhere at least 40 minutes early – meetings, dates…back in the late nineteenth century when people still asked me on dates… But I have to confess to crashing the Sarah Dessen party when it’s already in full swing. Look, you lot are already at the singing-’round-the-ole-piano stage! Fortunately for me it looks like it’s going to be kicking (do people still say that? I don’t get out much) for many years to come, so I’ll just sidle in here and join the celebration. 

Another thing you should know is that I have a deep fear of spoilers, which has two consequences here: 1. I will be spending much of the party sticking my fingers in my ears and singing lalalalala because I want to discover the whole of Dessen’s bibliography for myself; 2. I’m only going to talk about the excellence of the very first chapter of one of Dessens’ books: The Truth About Forever. Surely I can’t write an entire blog post about just one chapter, you say! But sweet Macy Queen gives us so much to think about. 

The magic of this first chapter is its subtlety and its faithfulness to character and story.  Some authors will use their first chapter like a stale baguette to hit you over the head with, terrified that if they don’t hit you hard enough, you won’t listen. They of little faith – you want to stick around, you didn’t need the beating! You need to look back at that first chapter, when the story is over, and think how true to the book it was.  

If Dessen had wanted to shock you into sticking with the book, she’d have opened with Macy’s dad lying in the road having his heart pumped, and with Macy’s shock and desperation and the whole tragic mess of it bursting into an ordinary morning. But that’s not what Macy is capable of at this point, and it’s not what the story is about. Macy lost something profound that morning – not just her dad (as if that weren’t enough) but her ability to make sense of the world. Dessen knows that that’s where the book has to start – not with Macy’s gut feelings about life and death and loss but with the seemingly unfeeling Jason, to whom she has latched on.  

Jason doesn’t do emotion – he does lists and cold, hard facts. She asks him what Macbeth is about and he writes: Murder, Power, Marriage, Revenge, Prophecy, Politics. It’s there in black and white. And here is the strong but subtle set-up for the story, in Macy’s words: “All I’d wanted for so long was for someone to explain everything that had happened to me in this same way. To label it neatly on a page: this leads to this leads to this. I knew, deep down, it was more complicated than that, but, watching Jason, I was hopeful. He took the mess that was Macbeth and fixed it, and I had to wonder if he might, in some small way, be able to do the same for me. So I moved myself closer to him, and I’d been there ever since.” 

Dessen lets us know very early on that Macy is in for a big journey – and that’s good; we need to know that; we’re even allowed at this point to be sure that she’s going to be okay in the end, because the important question is how she gets from damaged, rigid Macy to “End of the Story Macy”. She’s immediately accessible, because Dessen allows us to see small hints that Macy is under Jason’s wing not because she is of the same mindset but because of her circumstances. Once he is gone, the possibilities are exciting. Any approval of Jason goes hurtling out of the window when Macy says goodbye to him at the airport and tells him she’ll miss him. “It’s only eight weeks,” he replies – seeya, Jason. 

As soon as Jason is packed off at the airport, Macy peeks a tiny way out of her shell. Her description of life as ‘the girl who saw her father die’ – the way that it follows her around, a label she can’t shake – seems entirely real. I know it not from experiencing what Macy has been through but having watched a dear friend lose her father. Here’s a confession: I did not know what to say to my friend. I thought if I couldn’t find the perfect words, my job would be to omit saying the wrong words, and so inevitably I ended up saying not much at all. How stupid, but perhaps how universal – as if our creeping around the subject, or giving The Face could do anything but alienate the bereaved. I’m ashamed of it, and I was desperate to see who Macy would meet and what she’d experience that would enable her to come out of her silent depression. 

Dessen is clever not to end the chapter on that note, and it gives us a clear sign that she is not a doom-and-gloom writer but one who believes in hope – not unrealistic, saccharine hope, but in lights at the end of tunnels; in the pleasure of reading a story that contains sadness, thoughtfulness, but ultimately the possibility of joy. When Macy confesses – and it does feel like a confession, knowing what we already do about how she is in public, so as readers we are privileged – about the EZ boxes, she shows us a bit of the life that was in her dad, and which carries on in her. Things are not as they should be, but we’re going to move forward – we’re going to open that EZ box. How could anyone resist that? 

Emily Gale’s debut YA novel is forthcoming from Chicken House. You can also check out her blog at

Tomorrow – Jennifer Jabley, author of soon to be released Lipstick Apology.