Praise for Liars and Losers Like Us

“This is an engaging read for anyone who enjoys stories of high school drama and popularity, coupled with the sometimes painful, anxious ride of adolescence. The author writes this story with bits and pieces of her own experience as a survivor of abuse, encouraging teens to stand up for the truth. VERDICT A relatable supplemental purchase.” –School Library Journal

“While the final scenes of the novel are reminiscent of a John Hughes’ movie, complete with the perfect kiss after prom, this novel embraces heavier things as well and is certain to appeal to readers who want to see justice served and love trump hate. Pair with Thirteen Reasons Why (2007), by Jay Asher, and Prom (2005), by Laurie Halse Anderson, for readers’ advisory recommendations.” —Booklist

“I loved this book. It was the perfect mix of funny and serious…A smart and satisfying read.” -Amanda MacGregor, Teen Librarian Toolbox

“A twisty, addictive story brimming with hilarious characters, prom drama, and, yes, heart.”—Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing

“Poignant and hilarious in turns, Liars and Losers Like Us is a deeply real portrait of the high school landscape. Allen-Vath shows us that you can’t believe everything you see when it comes to other people.”—Liz Czukas, author of Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless
“Liars and Losers Like Us is a story of secrecy, pain, and, self-awareness artfully wrapped in snort-laugh-out-loud humor and heart-melting romance, as the best and truest adolescent tales are. Bree Hughes is a YA heroine to remember.”—Dahlia Adler, author of Behind The Scenes, Under The Lights, and Just Visiting

“Liars and Losers Like Us tackles all the hard things, like Bree’s struggle with panic attacks, while delivering prom shenanigans and a swoon-worthy romance. You should read this book for the Bree-Sean banter alone.” –Rachael Allen, author of The Revenge Playbook and 17 First Kisses

“Witty, heartbreaking, and extremely thoughtful, Liars and Losers Like Us will take you on a roller coaster ride to prom that will leave you breathless and wanting more.”–Natasha Sinel, award-winning author of The Fix

“Liars and Losers Like Us is an honest and poignant look at first love, bullying, and the tempestuous tides of high school popularity. Bree’s struggles with anxiety and her true-to-life love-hate relationship with being in the limelight had me rooting for her from page one, and Ami Allen-Vath’s careful handling of the subject matter results in a story where winning doesn’t mean getting a crown; it means developing compassion and understanding for the people around you.”–Francesca Zappia, author of Made You Up

“Drama, wit, and romance make Liars and Losers Like Us a thoroughly compelling read, with a strong undercurrent of compassion for those with hidden pain.”–Rachel Wilson, author of Don’t Touch

“Quirky and sometimes awkward, Bree Hughes is a realistic character that will have you laughing out loud even while you’re contemplating the way you treat people. With fast pacing and a unique cast of characters, Liars and Losers Like Us will inspire you to make the most of every moment you have.”–Sarah Schmitt, author of It’s a Wonderful Death

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When & Where Can I Get This LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US Book?

Millions of people keep asking when my book is coming out! Okay, not really that many people but my mom has a bad memory, so I am writing this quick post.

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LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US is not out yet. However, it can be PRE-ORDERED! You can do this right now online via Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and you can also check your local indie bookstore site. LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US can also be found on BookLikes and GoodReads…so you can add it to your TBR lists. Even though you can’t hold it yet, DO mark your calendar for MARCH 15, 2016 because that is when it releases! You will then get to read and dance around with my book. MARCH 2016 y’all!

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March is a great month. You’ll be able to buy it for your friends, lovers, frenemies, and family for St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Promposal gifts (because this should be a thing!) and then all the other 2016 holidays.

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Also, you can find the boutonniere, perfect dress and/or lipstick to coordinate with the LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US cover for 2016’s prom season. Convenient, eh?

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And hey: special thanks to everyone who’s expressed interest and enthusiasm for my book this far. It’s so exciting and very humbling. (Eeeeeee!) I still can’t believe it. (Here’s my book deal story, in case you missed it).

I’ll be sure to update this post whenever I get more details! (Actual day! The cover! Buy Links!) Okay. That’s all.

awk thank you in formal wear

XOami

Ain’t no party like an end of #WIPmo party!

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Hello #WIPmo crew! We’ve made it to the finish line. I don’t care how you got here or what you did, but we started from the bottom now we here.

Kudos to everyone who worked through the month whether you did the Nano thing or solely the Wipmo thing. I’m proud of us and I’m proud of me. Okay, I wish I was a little more proud of myself than I actually am but to be honest, I’m always a little hard on myself. I should/want/need to do more. Bleh. It’s the writer’s way!

This month I did edits, which included a little revision and a new chapter/scene, copy edits, and wrote an author’s note. Aaaaaand I did work on my WIP. I finished a scene-by-scene list from the whole ms which took a crap-ton of time. More than I’d expected. I wrote two short, new chapters for it as well. And I figured out the stuff I need to add and probably cut. I’m excited to revise it (again!) in December. Screw the holidays–I need to finishFINISHfinish this book!

How about you guys? Please comment below to celebrate and share your victories!

#WIPmo check in. One Week Left!

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Hey you! How are you? How’s work? The fam? Getting enough sleep? How’s life? How’s the book?

The book? Ohhhhh yeah, the book! Confession time, I’ve been doing other writerly things rather than working on my book. Yep, I’ve been putting it last on the list. I’d really love to have it complete. And sub-ready. I am SOCLOSE. But more things keep popping up to do (For Liars and Losers Like Us) and then I just *yawns* get so tired and decide I “deserve” the wind-down time, the chill time, etc etc. But here’s the deal, if I have time to lay in bed for an hour and scroll mindlessly through twitter, toggle back to Facebook, google a random question or two, read the latest Kardashian update, I HAVE TIME TO WORK ON MY WIP.

It’s so important to be working on the next thing. If you’ve been busting your ass to make your goals this month and exceeding them, I commend you! If you’ve been doing other stuff that is taxing and you’ve been feeling a bit rundown, I know this feel. I think adjusting your goal this last week to be a little more realistic (especially if you have an extra work load, holiday stuff, or other life stuff happening) THAT IS FINE. AHEM. BUT! BUT! BUT! Do not give up. Do not do the minimal. And I highly encourage you, if you are very close to making your goal, EXCEED IT. It’s okay to adjust your goals to make them a bit more realistic, but that doesn’t mean you need to abandon them. This is our last week. I’d love to see some extra work put in. An extra session on a night you were going to watch TV. A lunch/writing session. A night session with another #WIPmo or #Nano pal. Carve out that time. Finish strong!

One week left, y’all! Let work together to make this happen.

Check-in in the comments!

Sweet and Sassy Sixteeners: Day Eighteen- Ami Allen-Vath!

A #SS16ers post for ReadWriteLove28 on how my high school experience inspired Liars and Losers Like Us! Complete with Preorder Incentives and a Giveaway!

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It’s time to meet the 17th featured author of the SSS! Introducing…Ami Allen-Vath!

Liars and Losers Like Us
Ami Allen-Vath
Release Date: 03/15/2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Synopsis:

Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by…

View original post 1,324 more words

#WIPmo Murky Middle Check In!

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Hey guys! It’s time for the middle-of-the-month #WIPmo check in. Who’s still writing, still revising, or editing? Or, if you’ve abandoned your Nano Goals or need an extra push this month, you can get started here. We’re chill, we’re laid back. No strict rules. Just Goals. Work. Write.

Just like the middle of your book can get murky, so can the middle of #WIPmo month. Maybe you’ve slacked off a little or have decided that your monthly goal was a little too lofty. Or maybe you’ve been distracted with life stuff and have been too tired to fit extra writing time into your schedule. Maybe you’re thinking of giving up the goal you had and just keeping things status quo as if it was any other month. NO!

This week, instead of just moving forward, let’s take it up a notch. This past week I was pretty tired out from the edits I’d done the week before so I did a lot more resting than I would have liked. This week, I’m working on copy edits but I really want to get some work on my WIP done. I need to work a little harder. I’m going to have to challenge myself. I’m not going to give up and just do the minimum and hand in what is expected of me. On a night when I am exhausted, the kids are in bed and I’m ready to lay around with my phone until I fall asleep…NO. NOPE. NO.

Let’s work harder this week. Let’s forge ahead. Push yourself. And yes, let’s support and push each other.

Have a great week everyone! Check-in in the comments and if you’re new, introduce yourself!

P.S. There are 13 of us, so all of our handles don’t fit into a tweet. Be sure to check and use the #WIPmo hashtag to see who else is writing and #WIPmo-ing!

#WIPmo Week 2 Check-in! Run Writers Run!

Hey #WIPmo crew! Today is our second check-in but our first check in to see how we’re doing with goals! And, as I’ve written before, we’re a fairly chill group, so even if you weren’t here last week, please jump in and get started with us!

This past week was really intense for me. I was finishing up edits for Liars and Losers Like Us and the deadline was Friday. Yes, I could’ve asked for a small extension, but I was determined to make it. And I did! But, I was exhausted. I think most non-writers would think “Writing? How does that make you tired? What?” Well, I’m not sure about you guys, but for me, when I’m doing some heavy edits/revising, it’s pretty emotionally taxing. There’s the work of MAKING EVERY SENTENCE THE BEST IT COULD BE because this is the home stretch. For me this time, I felt the pressure of knowing that “other people” are going to read these exact sentences. Not just my agent, CPs, and editor who can say “Oh maybe use this word!” Show this better!” Or “This is confusing, try something else!” So yeah, that’s a little stressful. But I loved it. I really did. Probably my favorite part of the process so far.

And then there’s the whole connecting with your characters thing. I tried to do most of my writing at B&N cafe, so on my 25 minute drive home, I’d use that time to “shake it off” but it was still intense. These edits had me immersed in my character’s feelings and journeys (I’m so method!) so my ride home was a little emotional. Some of my characters are on some tough paths, so it’s hard not to have the sads for them. Young-Adulting is hard!

That being said, although the last couple weeks have been tough, I am so, so grateful. You guys! We are so lucky. It feels good to be putting so much blood, sweat and tears into something I’m so passionate about. Writing balances me. I’m a better wife and parent (not housekeeper!) when I’m also doing something to nourish my creative side. And some of us did have a little bit of this convo on twitter the other day but I want to remind you (and definitely me) that we shouldn’t feel bad about taking and making writing time. Just because there is no big paycheck at the end of the week (not for me anyway) and just because some things get neglected (drinks with friends, toilets, Netflix with significant other, sinks, watching a movie with the kids) doesn’t mean that art is not important and necessary. It’s not just a hobby. Art is life! Without art we are slightly leveled-up zombies.

This week, let’s run like the wind. Let’s set aside time and even squeeze some in when we’re not feeling it, and go! Go!

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Check in below in the comments! I’ll go first so you can follow my lead. Speaking of follow, be sure to check out the other #WIPmo writers so you can follow them on Twitter and find writing time buddies.

#WIPmo 2015! First Check-In!

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It’s that time, writers! Everyone is doing Nanowrimo but for whatever reason, it’s not for you! Or, for some of you, you actually are Nano-ing but want to supplement it with something extra chill and fun. #WIPmo is here for you.

#WIPmo is pretty laid-back. It has no crazy goals that’ll have you drafting like a maniac with only time to eat one leftover piece of Halloween candy each day. With #WIPmo, you’ll have time to eat and if you want, shower. HOWEVER, you definitely want to make some goals for yourself. For instance, finish drafting your WIP! Revise your book and get it sub ready. Edit your ms and write a query! Get your ms sub ready! Push through an agent or editor revision! whatever you need to get done, let’s get it done. Make goals, be acceptable, and we’ll be here to support each other.

Another great thing about WIPmo is that we do do #WIPmo sessions together. Whether you’re drafting, revising, or editing, scheduled writing sessions help. For me, they help me get my kids to bed on time so I can pull up my laptop and get to work on evenings I may have considered Netflixing and chilling. Whenever you’re going to sit down and do some work, go ahead and use the hashtag to start up a #WIPmo session for some buddies–or if you’re trying to plan for later, check and see when one might be coming up. I usually do a session or two or three on evenings once my kids are asleep!

Each Monday is check in day. Check-in is also pretty laid-back because we don’t want anyone to drop out if they don’t check-in by 9am on a Monday. I’ll usually put the check-in post up on Sunday nights and then I’ll encourage everyone to start checking in. Try to get it done by Tuesday! If you miss a check-in, no worries. Just check-in and get back to work! Our last check-in will be the last day of November, Monday the 30th.

Everyone interested–#WIPmo is super inclusive–check in below in the comments! Feel free to ask Qs here or on the hashtag as well. I’ll check in first so you’ll see the format!

Happy Writing!

When Your Book Gets a New Title!

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Hey everyone! The book formerly know as Prom Bitch has a shiny, brand new title!

LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US

Things change a lot in publishing (note: new pub date of MARCH 2016!) but I am very excited about everything and am so grateful to be in this position.

An extra special thanks to everyone who supported me during new title gate 2015: My fabulous editor Kristin Kulsavage, my agent Victoria Lowes, Sarah, Rachel, Natalie, Natasha, Fall Fifteeners, Fearless Fifteeners, and of course my family. : )

Revelations

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Ma sits on the edge of my bed like she’s always done. Never mind I’m almost seventeen and her preach-reading doesn’t do more than put me to sleep. “Sometimes,” she says, “it feels like your mind ain’t here. Like you’d rather be somewhere else.”

Shielding my face with the sleeve of my nightshirt from her soul-searching brown eyes, I whisper a lie. “I’m here, Ma. Like always.”

“I have just the verses to read tonight.” Ma taps the book with the end of her eyeglasses, then slips them on. Crinkling the pages, she opens the Good Book to read a passage about blood, burning, and the sun. Like always, my mind runs elsewhere.

A shiver rides my arm while my brain flashes to my own memory of feeling a burning fire all shaky and blissful in bed. It was so right and so lovely, I don’t even feel wicked to let my mind wander to that night knowing full well it’s something Ma would never approve. With the fire and brimstone words of Revelation blurring in one ear and out the other, I think of Isla.

The week I slept over her trailer this past winter was like riding an infinite escalator of hoping and needing. The momentum raised eighty flights every hour. Ma was gone for the week. She and two other single lady members left with Prophet chasing for new Community recruits.

Isla was sixteen and her golden skin and cherry stained lips clenched at my heart and gave me stomach tingles something crazy. Even during prayer hours and church when I was sposed to be looking to God.

We shared her rickety twin bed and I didn’t mind. On the last night before Ma came back, the wind licked the windows as her jagged breaths in and out, vibrated in my ear. I’d been waiting all week for the last night because I figured if I was gonna kiss her, it’d have to be on a night I couldn’t tell myself “maybe tomorrow night.”

We shivered together under the blankets and over the thumping of my heart, I whispered, “Snuggle closer.”

The next second her breath warmed my neck and the next her tongue was gliding across my lips and into my mouth. Isla laughed at my jokes, she held my hand when no one was looking, and at that moment, she was reading my mind.

Baking soda mint toothpaste was still faint on our tongues and teeth. I didn’t care because we tasted the same.

Making out with Isla was a dance. Hands in my hair, lips on mine, and up and down and left and right.

A creak in the hall, just outside her room jerked us from each other’s mouths and I figured it was over. Isla padded away from her bed and I slowed my breaths until she came back.

“It was just Petey,” she whispered. “Stupid cat.” She cocooned us back under her quilt and clicked on a tiny flashlight pulled from the drawer in her night table. The light stung my eyes until I closed them and Isla sighed into my ear. “You’re so pretty.” She kissed me again. This time from my ear to my lips, harder but slower. The orange peel and honey shampoo she let me use suddenly took on the scent of want and need.

She smelled it too. “I want to do something,” Isla whispered.

“Okay.” I opened my eyes to her sliding down my torso, gripping the flashlight as she pushed up my nightgown with her other hand.

Her kisses got lower and lower and I wanted to tell her to come back up because my cheeks were burning with heart-speeding nerves and fear. But I couldn’t because the want was stronger than any nagging worry that my shower before supper was maybe too long ago.

That night was when I realized that everything down there wasn’t dirty and awful and private and just for me.

When her hot breath vibrated onto me down there. When her kiss was sliding in and around, all the best feelings in the world melted into my pores. I didn’t care about Genesis, Luke, John, or Revelation because there was no such thing as sin under our blanket.

It was spring and summer and cinnamon candy, wild rainbow flowers, happy carnivals, and TV and secular dance music and everything else we couldn’t have at The Community. It was all the good, tingling through me, threatening to pull me apart into the highest kind of heaven. The rush of light I’ve only been able to reach by my hand if I let it go any further.

Gripping her shoulders, I pulled Isla back up like I was scared my body alarm would go off and we’d be over and done. I wasn’t ready for it to be over.

I framed her face in my hands, the glow of the flashlight now somewhere at my feet, lighting her just barely.

“What’s that like?” I asked, holding my breath preparing for the worst.

“It was like this…” Then she smooshed her mouth onto mine just as I was about to ask what she meant. The baking soda mint was miles away swapped for the taste of sweat and hot summer in the middle of winter.

My hands slid to her shoulders and I almost pulled away. Our lips touching again was weird and awkward, but she kissed like nothing else mattered. So I let myself fall back into her.

Isla was the first girl I saw the day Ma pulled our station wagon onto The Community. Ma was ready for a new life, free from the heathens, the liars, and anyone else who couldn’t compare to the way my daddy was before passing. Ma was Ready for something new and the closer she could get to God, the closer she’d get to Heaven. The second I saw Isla was the second I knew every doubt I had about who I was, was for nothing. Love is patient and kind and pure. Isla personified all of that. And if Isla was love, then I was good.

With the taste of mostly me almost gone, I moved my lips off Isla. My breath needed to slow down and I didn’t know how to do it without taking up all the air under our blanket. I gasped a little and tried to make words happen. “This. Is. Good. I like this. Do you?”

She grabbed my hand and held it tight. “I like all of it, but I’m scared that–”

I took her bottom lip in my teeth and cupped her breast to stop her from saying the rest.

Our hands went wild until her fingers dipped and swirled into the place she’d been kissing earlier. And to her, I did the same. Our kisses were breathy and heaving into each other’s ears. We used hands and fingers until we turned into life blaring love hot breathing exploding fireworks into each other’s palms.

Wiggling away from her hand, I let my body ride the end of the wave. When I whispered “Mmmm…” into her mouth she breathed, “I love you too.”

Isla and I laid like spoons and I never slept so good as that night. The buzzing in my body ran from my knees to my shoulders and I felt higher than an angel watching me from the clouds.

We didn’t talk the next day. Or the next. Isla never invited me over again and I never asked why not.

But the way she’d flush and bite back the slightest smile when we’d make eye contact whilst ignoring each other in the schoolhouse told me she felt just as good about it as I did.

When spring came, Isla and her Pa left on account of the stories Prophet started telling on Sabbath. Prophesies. Stuff about nuclear war coming, famous movie stars joining the calling, and other things he swore God warned him on. A whole lotta immediate future telling never coming to fruition. Prophet said God was testing him and getting him to humble himself in front of the congregation. The Community. And we all needed to humble ourselves and follow him straightway, no backsliding or looking to the left or right lest we end up burning for eternity and missing out on all the rewards Prophet was leading us to. Some members saw through it and walked once the air got warmer and leaves started growing back on the trees.

Ma closes her Good Book with a snap. “We’ll be saying goodbye to all our earthly possessions soon enough.” Her smile is soft and certain. “But hello to Him and a choir of angels. What do you think about that?”

“Heaven sounds nice,” I say. What I don’t say is that Heaven can be anywhere you make it, because I’ve already been there. “G’night Ma.” My eyes close, and I sigh into my pillow.

Isla said goodbye with empty eyes, a stiff hug, and mailed me a letter with seven lipstick kisses and a tiny “I.L.U” in a crease. It’s been three months. It’s folded in a purple envelope into a tiny rectangle and kept beneath my sports bra, even while I sleep.

I have the address memorized and I’ll be there before the end times come. And if I don’t make it to her first, I’m either flying with angels or burning in hell with all those kisses on my heart.

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#WriteLadyHeadRight Blog Hop Schedule because OH YES, there’s more! Grab yourself and/or a Valentine and get your read on…

Christa Desir
Sunday, February 8

Katie Cotugno
Monday, February 9

Bryson McCrone
Tuesday, February 10

Ashley Herring Blake
Wednesday, February 11

Me! Right here.
Thursday, February 12

Adrianne Russell
Friday, February 13

Carrie Mesrobian
Saturday, February 14