Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy Book Birthday to UNDER THE LIGHTS by Dahlia Adler!

Good Morning!

It's a glorious Tuesday! Know why? Because today is the official release day for my CP Dahlia Adler's newest book, UNDER THE LIGHTS!

Photo Credit: threehundredlittleducklings

You might remember last June, when I spewed gifs all over the internet in celebration of Dahlia's first book, BEHIND THE SCENES.

Well, Dahlia has done it again. And this time, as that awesome cover leaves no room for doubt, she's done it with really cute lesbians. (Yep, totally aware of how that sentence sounds, and pretty sure Dahl would want it no other way, and so I'm leaving it.)

Photo credit: justanotherbadfish

Photo credit: lezgirlblog

So, done what again, you ask? (*snaps fingers* HEY! Ogle the girl-on-girl gif later, I'm still talking!)

I've found that I have three main reactions to Dahlia's novels. First, there's this:

Hysterical, face-contorting laughter, in case I have to spell it out
Photo credit: isabelleadjanis
Then she has to go and throw in a few of these moments:

Because it's totally normal to sob over people you don't
know and won't ever meet. And also don't exist.
Photo credit: powerofdean

Mixed in with a good amount of these:

Self explanatory
Photo credit: mariahpapaya2
If this isn't you during the sex scene, I fear your pulse is nonexistent
Photo credit: tenpointstogifindor
And this book absolutely does not disappoint in any department. If you like funny, honest, heartfelt stories with diverse, realistic characters, then go pick this one up right now. I promise, you will be happy you did.

Happy Release Day, Dahlia!!!!
Photo Credit: bornthisday1995

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Year's Mistake Release Recap and Launch Party Pics!

Hello there!

It doesn't seem possible that LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE has been out in the world for almost two weeks now, but somehow, it has. I wanted to write a post recapping all the wonderful craziness, so here goes:

First matter of business: Announcing the winner of the LYM Pre-Release Giveaway Extravaganza. The fabulous prize pack goes to:

For her two 2015 debut titles, Paola chose SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli and MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. Both awesome choices! Congrats, Paola, and thanks so much to everyone who entered and spread the word about the contest!

Next, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made release day great - so many of you tweeted, texted, Facebooked, blogged, etc., and the love and support totally overwhelmed me in the best possible way. Especially when LYM started trending on Twitter!


Almost as cool as these t-shirts worn by my sister, mom, and son:

In case you're wondering, my mom is sitting next to my book in Target. MY BOOK IS ON THE SHELVES AT FREAKING TARGET!

Then my brother-in-law sent me this pic after he found my book at the Yale University book store. You guys, this is the closest I'll ever get to Ivy League:

But I was also SUPER psyched to see LYM at my own alma mater, in the very store where I bought all my college textbooks at The University of Connecticut. (Shoutout to the student who took the liberty of giving it this sweet spot on the shelf at the Co-op!)

So many of you tweeted me pics at your local stores, and I absolutely loved it. Seeing something I wrote as a real, live book on a store shelf, or in the hands of an actual reader never gets old. So thank you for giving me so many reasons to squeal with delight - like these:

Seriously, could Sherry be any cuter?
Misfit Love! Hi, Erica!

More Misfit Love! Hey, Lyla!

And speaking of squealing with delight, I can not say enough about the people who went out of their way to send kind words and reviews about LYM. Even as a debut author, I have no delusions that everyone will love and connect with my stories. But the people who do? Do it in the best possible way. Here are a few of my favorite post-release reviews so far:

Bittersweet Reads Review
Excerpt: I love it when books completely catch me by surprise, and that’s exactly what happened with Last Year’s Mistake! You never know what to expect when starting a new book, especially if it’s by a debut author. But guys, Gina Ciocca blew this one out of the park!

Seeing Double in Neverland ARC review
Excerpt: This was a well written contemporary romance that gave me everything I could have wanted. The back story was some of the best parts of the story and had me dying to find out what lead them to the point of losing out on their friendship. I think Gina captures the feelings of being a teen perfectly, the insecurities, and the jealousy.

A Bookish Escape's "4 Beautiful Friendship, Growing Up, and Falling in Love Filled Stars" Review
Excerpt: Last Year's Mistake brought me back to my teenage years, when you are learning who you are, social cliques can make or break you, and your first love is someone that you'll always remember.

The Reader Bee Review
Excerpt: Not only was the friendship between the two main characters in the story great, but also the relationships with their family members as well. I love a book that has really great family relationships. I especially loved Kelsey’s sister, and also David’s dad, who made me tear up more than a few times throughout the book.

Reading Between Felines Review 
Excerpt: it was a great read and I wish it could have gone on and on because now I have to find another book just as good to dive into, which, after LYM, won't be easy.

Book Sp(L)ot Review
Excerpt: I loved that 'before' Kelsey and David were best friends. They weren't friends-who-aren;t-really-friends for five minutes before they started dating, they really were friends. I liked the scenes of their friendship and seeing their relationship really grow.

Finally, this weekend was the long-awaited Summer Swoons launch party with Rachael Allen, Lauren Morrill, and Julie Reece at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA.

I assume my mouth is running in this picture, because everyone is looking at me

These are some truly awesome ladies, with truly awesome books to match. And Little Shop did a great job of keeping everything organized and running smoothly. I also didn't throw up or trip over anything, so BONUS.

But the ABSOLUTE BEST part? My mom and my sister flew in from Connecticut to surprise me:

Yes, they wore their LYM t-shirts!

Yep, there were tears. And since it was my first book, and therefore my first launch party, there was also an excess of LYM-themed items:

Chocolate chip cookies, saltwater taffy, and chocolate baseballs, oh my!
I had way too much fun planning the little details. And setting them up. And seeing total strangers buy my book and hand it to me to sign. It was crazy, surreal, and amazing.


Obviously nothing is without drawbacks, but I have to tell you: I absolutely love being a published author. Yes, there are times when I doubt my abilities and my endurance and my ideas. There are times when I'm impatient with the whole process, when I wonder if I was really cut out for this. But at the end of the day? This is a dream come true. I haven't forgotten that. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I am so, so grateful to everyone who played a part in it. Never stop being your amazing, awesome selves. You're a huge part of the reason for the smile on my face.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy Book Birthday to LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE!

You guys! It's here! June 9, 2015 is TODAY - and my book is officially out in the world!

The first pictures of my little book baby in the wild (aka the shelves at Barnes and Noble) were tweeted to me this weekend by Lauren Gibaldi and Lisa Maxwell. And yep, I totally choked up.

When I pulled myself together, I then threw on my Respect the Fluff t-shirt and hightailed it over to my nearest B and N, where I took this:

Pay no attention to the fact that I look like a Gremlin. Look only
at that gorgeous book beside me.

I honestly thought this day would never come, but now that it has, I have too many feels to even articulate. I'm humbled, flattered, touched, excited, nervous, a little harried, and well... you get the point.

Photo credit: Sourwolfpowers

First, I want to say THANK YOU to anyone and everyone who has either read, reviewed, tweeted, or showed any kind of excitement/support for LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE in any way. Knowing that people cared enough to read and spread the word about something I've written is mind-blowing.

Photo Credit: realitytvgifs

Second, everything I went through to get to this point is never far from my mind. Things can change on a dime, and I want to remind other authors who are feeling like it might never happen of this: You never know. No really. You Don't.

And since it *did* happen (nope, still not over it), there are three (well, four, if you count mine) blogs that have generously posted

interviews and/or giveaways in LYM's honor. Go to:

Reading is My Treasure for answers to Kaitlin Snider's fantabulous questions about LYM, and for the chance to win signed bookmarks and saltwater taffy (US only).

That Artsy Reader featured another set of fun interview questions for the Debut Dish, and is offering the chance to win a signed LYM hardcover and bookmark (INT).

Adventures in YA Publishing also has a hardcover copy up for grabs, along with some fantastic other titles.

And don't forget, today is the last full day to enter my own Pre-Release Giveaway Extravaganza! More details on how to win the prizes shown below can be found HERE.

If you like DEAR TEEN ME posts, mine is up on the PulseIt blog today. Click here to read.

Also, I want to give a special shout out to Eric Smith, for including LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE on Paste Magazine's list of 13 of the Best New YA Books in June, and to the New York Public Library for featuring LYM on its YA Summer Reading List. And to Sherry Lay, for making me this adorable piece of fan art from her favorite quote:

If you'd like to help me celebrate LYM's release, there are few ways you can do so.

One - help spread the word! I've put together a few tweets that can be copied and pasted for your convenience:

If you love YA contemporary romance, don't miss 's sweet tale of first love & 2nd chances!  

Love a will they/won't they romance between friends? 's  releases today! 

Swoony, romantic  by  is out today! Don't miss all these awesome chances to win it! www.writersblog-gina.blogspot.com

Two - buy the book! It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound, as well as in lots of book stores.

Three - if you like it, tell a friend. Or better yet, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads! Word of mouth is invaluable to helping get books in people's hands.

Four - come support me and LYM at one of my launch parties or signings! Click the Events and Appearances tab at the top of the page for more info - hopefully to updated with even more places to find me soon.

And once again, thank you so much to everyone who had read, or plans to read LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE. This is a life-long dream come true for me, and I'm so excited for you to share it with me!

Photo credit: foreverswiftly

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last Year's Mistake Pre-Release Giveaway Extravaganza!

YOU GUYS. My book launch is imminent!

I have no idea how this is possible, because last year when I learned what my release date would be, I honestly thought, June 9, 2015 is NEVER coming. But OMG. It totally is.

And there are so many exciting things happening! For example, this utterly ADORBZ article that ran in the June/July issue of Justine Magazine, where they chose beyond-perfect clothes and accessories to go along with the story:

Look closely at that bracelet. It's a quote from ALICE IN WONDERLAND that reads:
I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

You know what I can't do? Even begin to explain how perfect that quote is. Once you read the book, you'll know why. 


And then Taylor Swift totally channeled my book cover:

She's trying to tell me she loves my book. Shut up. Yes she is.

Not to mention that LYM was listed as one of Epic Reads 15 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in June, and also appeared on the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog as one of 40 Books You Need On Your Summer Reading List. 

Convinced you need this book in your life? Well, you're in luck. Because I'm SO excited to finally share this story with the rest of the world, I bring you...


To one lucky winner, I am offering:

- A signed hardcover of LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE
- One 11 x 17 LYM Poster (also signed, if you prefer)
- A signed LYM bookmark
- A signed LYM postcard
- An adorable LYM refrigerator magnet
- And as a BONUS - TWO titles of your choice by a 2015 debut author. Need a list to peruse? I can help: 2015 Debut Young Adult Authors

How To Enter:

Simple - spread the word! Just POST ABOUT + LINK TO this contest on any form of social media, and be sure to FOLLOW + TAG me and/ or leave a link in the comments below!

You can find me on Twitter (@gmc511), Instagram (@gmciocca, and the image above is conveniently Insta-sized) and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gmcioccabooks 

I'll even make it easy by providing some sample tweets:

I entered 's  Giveaway b/c sometimes first love needs a second chance, and I need this book! http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2015/06/last-years-mistake-pre-release-giveaway.html

(Hey, if I'm gonna write the tweets, I'm gonna go overboard)

Win  + 2  titles of your choice courtesy of 's pre-release giveaway! http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2015/06/last-years-mistake-pre-release-giveaway.html

 is giving away  swag, plus 2 @Fearless15ers novels of your choice. Have you entered? http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2015/06/last-years-mistake-pre-release-giveaway.html

Those are just examples - feel free to be creative, but please remember to link to the contest and tag me so I know you've entered! And even if you've done all of the above, feel free to still leave a comment. I love them.

Best of luck! Winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 10th. Apologies, but this one is US/Canada only.