Thursday, July 19, 2018

The City by the Bay

My new YA novel, The Windfall App, releases in just over a week! The Windfall App is different from my previous publications--there is no magic, no time travel, and and no twisted fairytales. This book is a contemporary suspense about a girl who wins the lottery only to learn that the game has been tampered with and her prize comes with strings attached. Here's a short little blurb:

Free money is not a gift. It’s a curse. 

At least, that’s what Marina’s dad says when she wins the grand prize of five thousand dollars a day—for life—after playing Windfall. Despite his warning, she’s determined to live it up, and she has no problem burning bridges along the way. But not all wins are good ones, and what you see is not always what you get.

There's a full blurb on my website, if you're interested in learning more. I'm so excited for you all to meet Marina--piano prodigy and closet alternative rock junkie--and to fall in love with the city of my heart, The City by the Bay. 

The Windfall App is set in San Francisco. I grew up in a town nearby and went to the city often, so I'm kind-of in love with the place. My grandfather worked for the railroad in San Francisco in the 1950's and came to know the city so well that whenever we'd have visitors, he'd take them on a private tour. His tours became something that family members and friends would look forward to when they came to visit. (Fun fact: my grandparents got engaged at Stow Lake, which is a little spot in Golden Gate Park where visitors can rent paddle boats and take a break from city life. In my book, Marina mentions Stow Lake when she's making up a fake newspaper headline in an attempt to joke around with her dad.)

All joking aside, many of the places in The Windfall App were places I visited with my grandpa, and many of the things Marina loves to do were inspired by my childhood trips to the city. On one such trip, we went to a park and slid down giant concrete slides on old pieces of cardboard. In my story, Marina and her friends frequent a similar spot called the Seward Street Slides. These aren't the same ones I went to as a kid, but they're the same idea.

Recently, I took two of my close friends--one my critique partner and one my sensitivity reader--and we set out to find the Seward Street Slides. They are tucked away in a little neighborhood, sandwiched between houses and hills, as everything in the city is. We took some videos of us playing on the slides. Click here to watch them. And here are some pics:

Stay tuned for some giveaways and contests in the next few weeks as we celebrate the release of The Windfall App! And check back here on July 27th for the blog tour schedule--I'll be giving away a YA book bundle, and there will be lots of chances to enter over the course of the tour. 

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