Seventeen-year-old Gilbert Garfinkle is the ultimate tech
geek. He likes to take apart, figure out, and fix things, and he dreams of
someday fixing the world. But now his own life has been taken apart by the one
thing he'll never be able to figure out. Her name is Amber, and she's a
gorgeous girl with a killer smile who wants to turn him into her platonic
BFF--literally forever! It's the ultimate geek's ultimate nightmare, and it
leaves Gilbert asking life's ultimate question: "Why me?"
Why My Love Life Sucks is a funny novel about geeks, girls,
gadgets, vampires, and the start of a most unlikely friendship. It's the first
book in The Legend of Gilbert the Fixer, the series that proves it takes the
ultimate geek to be the ultimate hero.
The night after Amber bites Gilbert, he wakes up in pain and
confusion in a hospital. He wants answers, so he escapes and heads to the
arcade where they first met.
to?” the driver asks.
Bee’s on Broadway.”
seems mercifully quiet the moment I close the door of the cab, but I’m noticing
some extremely unpleasant odors. There’s the smell of cigarettes, the musky
odor of sweat, and something that smells like grungy gym socks. The lights
outside on the streets of New York are so bright and colorful. It’s like I’m
Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, when
everything goes from black-and-white to Technicolor. I have a feeling we’re not
in Kansas anymore, Toto.
people remind me of television commercials for fruit-flavored breakfast
cereals. So many flavors, and all so yummy. This is so wrong. It’s like I’m
that damn shark from Finding Nemo. I
have to keep telling myself that people are people, not food. I tie my
sneakers, and try to spend the rest of the ride just staring at my feet.
driver lets me off. After paying the fare, I’m left with thirty-four dollars
from the money Uncle Ian gave me, and I still have the other thirteen in my
wallet, or rather Amber does.
“Hi, Alex,” I say as I walk into Bucky Bee’s.
“Anything broken tonight?” I don’t know why I said that. Force of habit I
had a really bad day.” Oh, wait, he’s probably talking about my glasses. “Oh,
and I . . . got laser eye-surgery.” Okay, stupid thing to say. I’m pretty sure
you have to wear goggles for weeks after eye surgery.
yeah.” I should have said contact lenses.
good on you. Maybe I should get laser eye-surgery too.”
informs me that all the machines are in working order, so my services aren’t
needed tonight. Still he lets me in.
I scan the
tables. Amber isn't at one. So what do I do now?
wait, there she is, leaning against the wall next to the game I fixed last
night. She’s still wearing her bright red dress, and the navy-blue jacket she
borrowed from me is draped over her shoulders. She sees me, and she comes over.
I find an empty booth and sit down. She sits opposite me. Bucky Bee’s looks
like a rainbow threw up in it, the colors are so damn bright.
hardly recognized you,” Amber says, with a wide smile. “You look great.”
like a corpse at an open-casket funeral?”
silly, great as in you're no longer wearing those nerdy glasses, your zits are
gone, your hair and skin look terrific, and you have this really sexy brooding
“Mmm . .
.” Amber is looking at me and making a yummy sound. I can't help but twitch,
knowing how she thinks I taste and
what part of me she’s tasted. “It’s very sexy.”
not a brooding stare. This is my I'm-so-mad-I-could-kill-you face.”
whatever it is, it's working for you.”
it. I can't keep my anger inside any longer. “How could you do this to me??”
a minute . . . Did I just yell in Bucky Bee's?
the noise level is so high I don't think anyone’s noticed. Oh, I’m wrong. Alex
is staring at Amber, so he’s noticed, and he probably thinks I'm nuts to be
yelling at a girl who is way out of my league. Wish I didn't know what you don't know, Alex. And Chloe, who is
working at the counter tonight, is also staring at me. And some guy or girl
dressed as Bucky Bee may or may not be staring at me. It’s hard to tell with
the costume on.
looking around too. We have to wait until no one seems to be staring at us
anymore. It takes several excruciatingly long minutes.
“Look, Gil, I know you're scared.”
putting it mildly.”
the truth is being a vampire—”
don't say that word.”
raises an eyebrow. “Vampire?”
laughs and shakes her head. “Sounds like someone is in denial.”
right. I am in denial. But what else can I do? How the hell am I supposed to
accept this? “I. Am. So. Screwed.”
“No, you're not.” She has this huge smile on her face, and
I want to believe her, but . . . “Listen to me, Gil. In a few days after the
pain has worn off, you're going to see this is the best thing that ever
happened to you.”
Can you share your playlist from when you were writing Why My Love Life Sucks with us?
I try to listen mostly to soundtracks when I’m writing, because I find songs with words too distracting. The words in the songs get jumbled with the words on my computer screen, and that can make it harder for me to see the words on my computer screen as they really are.
This is a link to my favorite Pandora movie soundtrack station. It has music by Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, and other great contemporary composers from movies like Brave, The Hunger Games, Edward Scissorhands, and How to Train Your Dragon.
Between writing sessions, though, I like to listen to songs that make me think of specific scenes or specific characters. Here’s a short list:
1.“Breakeven” by The Script reminds me of Gilbert at the beginning of the story, lying paralyzed on his vintage Star Wars sheets and wondering why Amber bit him.
2. “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman reminds me of the scene where Gilbert first meets Amber at Bucky Bee’s and he’s so sure a girl that beautiful could never be interested in a geek like him.
3. “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday” (or “Gonzo’s Song”) from The Muppet Movie reminds me of the how Gilbert and Amber somehow knew that night that they were meant to meet.
4. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is the song I imagine playing in the club Amber takes Gilbert to where she has a great time and he has a panic attack as girls attracted to his new vampire charm throw themselves at him.
5. “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson reminds me of how Amber feels about Gilbert (minus the implied romance in the song) after he rescues her.
There are other songs that remind me of things that happen--or things we learn about the characters--later in the series, but I can’t say what they are without giving too much away. To quote one of my favorite characters from Doctor Who, “Spoilers!” But I have created a Pandora station for the Legend of Gilbert the Fixer, and some of the things you hear on it might fit, while others won’t. At any rate, it’s a fun selection of quirky, sometimes geeky, sometimes funny songs.
About the Author:
I've always been super geeky about comedy, fantasy and
When I was little, I'd take them apart and analyze them,
kind of like what Gilbert Garfinkle--the hero of Why My Love Life Sucks--does
with electronics. This continued into my college years, when I majored in
English Literature and Theater Studies.
For twelve years I worked in magazines and newspapers as an
editorial cartoonist, illustrator, editor, arts-and-entertainment writer
(specializing in children's entertainment and, of course, comedy), and a
My last job was at the Jerusalem Post, but I had to quit when my
family decided to move to New Jersey to pursue better education options for my
This was in February 2001. Since then I've written 40
picture books and seven novels for kids and teens, four of which I've indie
published. I was an ABNA quarterfinalist with Why My Love Life Sucks, and I won
third place in SmartWriter's Write It Now contest in the the YA category (which
was judged by Alex Flinn, the author of Beastly) for my romantic, YA ghost
story, Ride of Your Life.
After seventeen year-old Sophie’s mom dies in a tragic accident, she is so engulfed with guilt and sadness, she feels like she could literally, simply lie down and die. But a few months later, on the night she and her friends experiment with a Ouija board, things begin to change in unimaginable ways. Sophie begins to hear, and then see, Nick, a boy who has been dead for two years. This story tells of their blossoming friendship, young love, and how, through Nick, Sophie learns to live again. But even in the spirit world, happiness can’t last forever. There is a dark side to this otherworldly friendship. Not all spirits are good. Sophie’s dreams become haunting, scary nightmares. And soon these nightmares become reality, and lead Nick and Sophie into a battle against this evil spirit. They must fight for her life, but even if they can figure out how to fight a ghost, Sophie isn’t sure she wants to. If she dies, she could be with Nick forever.
FALLING grips emotions and keeps the reader turning pages late into the night.
reached around me, hugging me close. I wasn’t expecting it, so it threw me off
balance, and we fell onto the bed, which set us both to laughing. This was
going to be fun. I was worrying for nothing. I climbed under the covers and
felt Nick slide in beside me. I would never cease to be amazed at how real he felt.
It felt like a regular person was lying right beside me. In fact, it felt like
a real hand slipping under my shirt right then.
My hand is cold. I’m just trying to warm it up.”
warm all right.”
kept his hand there, along my side at my waist. I felt him pull me closer.
skin is so soft. I won’t ever let you go,” he whispered, his lips pressing into
melted in his arms. I belonged to him.
lives near the beach with her daughter and four dogs. She spends every spare
moment at the beach, either reading, or surfing, or just sitting and watching
the water. That's also where she does most of her writing, in a notebook, with
a pencil. Lisa is a school teacher, and a yoga teacher. She is passionate about
dog rescue. As busy as she stays, she is most happy sitting on her sofa,
cuddling with her pups.
Iris Breslin is on a mission with only one goal: escape Breakwater, Wyoming, where her family’s horrific history is common knowledge. New York couldn’t be more different to her small town upbringing, but better still, absolutely no one at Syracuse University knows of the brutal murders her father committed before taking his own life when she was fourteen years old. For the first time, Iris has friends, a career plan, a regular life.
Jake Stafford grew up in Breakwater. Discovering Charlie Breslin’s body on his first day as a cop may have snared Jake in the Breslin family nightmare, but the truth is that he was already involved long before. Now a part of the NYPD, Jake remains entangled in the five year old mystery—a mystery he intends to solve. That isn’t going to be an easy task, especially with Iris back in his life. Jake must fight to convince the girl he loves that his feelings are genuine, and not some sick obsession with a man who once helped him when no one else would. His hidden secrets are darker than Iris can possibly imagine, but can she drop her guard long enough to uncover them?
As a child, I was always accused of being bookish because I
wore glasses- big, horrible, ugly ones with too-thick lenses. Those kids, the
super smart ones who always know which tender insecurities to poke at in order
to provoke life-long complexes, used to accuse me of reading too many books and
that my eyes were going to rot out of my head (their words, not mine!)
The truth of the matter was a little more embarrassing: I
used to sit too close to the T.V. That was the reason why I had to wear
glasses, but kids don’t really care about small, insignificant details like the
truth, and so I was labelled a nerd. The label kinda stuck, and after some sage
advice from my awesome nana (nana, you rock!) I decided that if I was going to
be abused for my supposed literary obsession, I might as well develop one.
I guess that’s how I got into books and reading at an early
age. Since then, I’ve been ripping through books like they’re going out of
fashion, which, thankfully, they’re not. Good thing, too, because I’m a writer
now, and books are my business!
Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me on
my journey- look for your names in the acknowledgements!
After a fatal hit and run accident, Ella Monroe fears that she’s lost
more than her beloved parents. Horrifying visions of a past life and a
disturbing voice in her head have psychiatric professionals convinced that
she’s lost her sanity as well. But when Kale--a dark and handsome stranger with
a mysterious past--reveals the true meaning of her visions and the tremendous
power she wields through them, Ella must come to terms with the devastating
truths of her own past, while eluding an ancient Dark Prince who seeks to
control not only her future, but all of mankind’s, by means of abilities that
Ella is only beginning to understand.
Enter the shrouded world of an age old battle between an ancient race
known as the Immortals and their bitter enemy Laurent, the so-called Dark
Prince, who commands an army of half-breed vampires known as Chorý. Both sides
have been desperately searching for the prophesied emergence of the Arc, a
clairvoyant with unparalleled power to recall the past and a soothsayer with
clear vision into the future.
The Council of Immortals has sworn to protect the Arc, whom they have
identified as young Ella Monroe, a college freshman from Virginia living
quietly and unaware of her powers or her past. But a renegade Chorý has other
plans for the protection of a girl he has loved through the ages. Can Kale
convince Ella of who she is, what she is destined to become, and what he once
meant to her? Is he truly the best protector to shield the world from the
devastating misuse of her powers that Laurent is bent on controlling? Or will
the forbidden love they share and Kale’s cursed condition as a wretched and
hated Chorý be used against them both?
paranormal romance told from the heroine’s perspective builds in intensity and
intrigue to a finale you won’t see coming. Heart pounding action mixed with
heartwarming friendships and heartbreaking romance will leave you breathless
and begging for more.
Inger Iversen lives in Virginia Beach with her tree-hugging
boyfriend Joshua and her overweight lap cat Max. When not reading or writing
she spends her time watching reruns of True Blood or killing zombies in Call Of
You breathe in, you breathe out, and everything you know is
Sara Walker knows firsthand what it feels like to have your
reality ripped away, scrambled, and shoved back at you in an undone puzzle
where pieces are missing and nothing fits. She's lost so much and is struggling
to live and to find the strength to forgive herself for being human. With the
help of Lincoln, her husband's brother, Sara realizes it's not about finding
who she used to be, but about finding who she is now.
You breathe in,
you breathe out, and everything you know isn't gone, but reborn.
Lindy Zart has
been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has
improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one
cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.
Welcome to the South - where the
tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter. This Southern way of life is all
Charlie has ever known. It’s not until she loses the only person who pushed her
to break free of the Southern Belle mold that she starts living the life she
needs and not the life her parents forced on her.
Jhett has lived on the edge for as
long as he could remember - constantly teetering back and forth between being a
rock star and living a normal life. His rebellious and sometimes arrogant
attitude is known to get him into trouble, especially with the girls who hang
on his every move.
Charlie never thought that a trip
to pack up her brother’s apartment would leave her feeling even more unsettled
about the grainy details of her brother’s death. Her quest for information
leads her straight to his old hangout and into arms of Jhett, who suspiciously
knows more about her situation than he ever should.
Only a few questions remain - Can
you trust someone based on their word alone? And if you make a promise, how far
will you go to keep it?
About The Author
Sarah Ashley Jones was raised in San Diego, California, but currently wrangles her husband and four dogs in Clarksville, Tennessee. When she's not writing she works in a pottery studio and comes home covered in paint on a daily basis. She has a slightly unhealthy obsession with cupcakes and chapstick. She is an eternal optimist and can often be found dancing and singing to music at any given time. It's rare to see her not smiling or laughing, but if you do, just bring her a cupcake and it will cheer her up.
Promise Me This is her first novel and is a story that weaseled its way into her heart and wouldn't leave her alone until she typed it up on the computer. She already is hard at work on ideas for her next book and hopes that the
characters never stop coming to her. Her huge imagination was always in overdrive as a child and now she is beyond excited to put it to good use as an adult. She plans to write as long as she has stories that need to be told.