So, as some of you may have noticed, my second book fiiiiiinally went up on Goodreads this week. It’s called Under the Lights; it’s a companion to my debut, Behind the Scenes; and if you’re so inclined, you can add it here. And, for the curious who’d rather not venture to Goodreads, here’s the blurb:
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight—on everyone’s terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.
So, voila! Under the Lights is dual-POV, and unlike with Behind the Scenes, I’ll definitely be posting excerpts in advance. Like its predecessor, this book is decidedly upper YA. It’s actually got a whole lot more happening on-page, because LGBTQ+ YA romance seems to be sorely lacking that, and that’s a damn shame. (It’s pretty freaking hot, I’m not gonna lie.) And, to answer the most Frequently Asked Question, yes, it does feature appearances from both Liam and Ally 😉
Under the Lights certainly has things in common with BtS thematically, but it’s also about very different people, who are handling some of those similar issues in very different ways, with very different partners. I will cop to the fact that when I started writing it, I was really concerned about attempting to write Vanessa, because I didn’t feel like I knew her very well. The amazing thing about writing this book was changing that to the extreme, how that came about, and how much I love her now, and hope other people will too. I don’t usually enjoy talking about a book’s journey much, because I don’t usually find it very interesting, but this book is a major, major exception to that, and one I’m really excited to discuss closer to publication. (And, of course, huge thanks to my CPs – Maggie Hall, Marieke Nijkamp, and Gina Ciocca – because there is no way in hell I would’ve gotten there without them.)
If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments, or in the box on Goodreads – just please don’t spoil BtS for those who haven’t read it yet! (If you have a spoiler-y question, you can just go ahead and email me.)
And a quick note on BtS, because this has come up a lot lately – if you don’t yet own the book in paperback and you want a signed copy, please order one from Books of Wonder; they’re carrying a whole bunch, and I’m happy to stop by and personalize one upon request! I’m there all the time for launch parties and to bug Gaby anyway, and sending books out that are sent to me for signature is getting a little pricey. (And am always happy to send out signed bookplates within the US!)
A huge, huge superthanks to everyone who’s already added Under the Lights on Goodreads, and to everyone who’s read, borrowed, bought, recommended, sent store pics of, tweeted about, and reviewed Behind the Scenes. You guys are amazing, and I’m so, so excited to share another book with you ❤