First and foremost, no doubt you have already heard about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Maureen Johnson, a YA author, is doing a donation drive for Shelterbox, a first-response type group that goes into disaster zones with boxes full of the basics a small group of people would need to a) survive and b) get started on recovery. Many authors have donated signed books as incentive to donate. If you follow the instructions on Maureen's blog (which also has more info about Shelterbox), you will be entered to randomly win. (UPDATE: Maureen's blog has been exploded by extra traffic, info is reposted HERE, too.) I donated a signed ARC of Supernaturally (which no I don't have yet but should next month I think) + a signed hardcover of Paranormalcy. You don't have to donate much--each box is remarkably low-cost and high impact.
In far happier news, Stephanie Perkins has just released the cover + a teaser description of her next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. Not only do I love Steph and this book, I also have a strange connection to the cover. When Steph sent it to me, I opened it, only to do a double take.
I know precisely one male model in the whole world. (I know! I can't believe I only know one, either. You would think that surely the life of an author is FILLED with male models, but alas, this is not the case. Good thing I have Hot Stuff to fill my beautiful-man-viewing needs.) Not only had I seen this model as the entire wall of Abercrombie and Fitch stores across the country a few years ago, but I'd seen him on a regular basis during the years he was dating my sister-in-law. Imagine my surprise when my sister-in-law's old boyfriend showed up on my best friend's new book cover.
Yup. I know that guy.
(And girls, in case you were wondering, yes, as my mother-in-law puts it "He's so beautiful!" and bonus, he's actually a super nice guy, too. Go figure!) (Yes, I have his email address and we've talked about what a small world it is.) (No, you can't have his email address. Sorry.) (Okay, fine, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Anyhow. This got way off track. Go ogle Steph's new cover! Go pre-order her book! Go wish you had a purple wig that adorable! Go read the synopsis and writhe in bitter jealousy that I have already read this book but you can't until September! (See? Who needs male models--my job's perks ROCK.)
So: Thank you for considering donating to a very good cause. Thank you thank you if you already have. And yay for happy, awesome covers to add a little bit of cheer into a sad, scary day.