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Happy last day of Chanukah!

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a pretty good chance you know that two weeks ago, I released my very first NA novel, which is, among other things, a romance between a teacher and student.* This book, Last Will and Testament, originated with the idea of a girl who was something of a train wreck having to take on custody of her younger brothers at college, but it didn’t fall into place as a complete story until the romance was set in place too.

Why teacher-student?

Because Pretty Little Liars, that’s why. I was hooked on Ezria from episode 1, and I knew that was the romance I wanted to write. AND NOW YOU KNOW.

So, what do you do when you get a story idea and you’re writing in a category that wasn’t even a category the last time you wrote it?

You research what’s already out there.

(Please note, at the time, I had no idea what Slammed was about beyond that it involved beat poetry. That it is teacher/student and addresses guardianship are not in the blurb. So, yeah, that would’ve been the obvious research choice had I known. Whoops. ANYWAY.)

So, to Amazon! Where I searched through student-teacher romances, chose one with a fascinatingly intriguing cover (RIP Rainbowface) and a cool blurb, and started to read it on the subway. And then it was so good, it gave me writer anxiety, which I obviously had to tweet about:

I made the stupid mistake of mentioning the author in the ensuing conversation with a friend, and then there she was, telling me not to give up.

As evidenced by her being somewhat nice there (I mean, if you ignore the total head pat), it’s obvious Leah Raeder and I did not know each other yet. But there you have the story of how she became my arch-nemesis and fellow Menace to Sincerity: it’s all Last Will and Testament‘s fault. And Unteachable‘s. And hers, just because most things are.

So, in celebration of the final day, today’s prize is a signed paperback of Last Will and Testament, which comes with an Unteachable bookmark signed by Leah Raeder.

IMG_1967(1)To enter (open internationally), click here!

*Students and teachers totally have Chanukah relevance, btw. Those spinning top things (Dreidel in Yiddish, S’vivon in Hebrew) we play with hail from back in the days when Jews were forbidden from studying from the Torah, so if the Greeks spotted them teaching/learning, they pulled them out and pretended they’d just been playing with them all along. The four letters – one on each side – stand for the Hebrew words “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,” or “A great miracle happened there.” (Except in Israel, where “Sham” is replaced with “Poh,” i.e. “here.”) There, don’t say Aunt Dahlia never taught you anything.