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Monday, April 15, 2019

My First Love Event with Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil's Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3), available now.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

My First Love

Growing up, I think I wanted to be anyone other than who I was. I wasn’t a happy kid, and with few to no friends, I sought escape through books, movies, and TV as a way to project myself into any other life that wasn’t mine. And I did it a lot!

And because of this, most of my first crushes were actually girl crushes.

Who didn’t want to be Cindy Mancini from Can’t Buy Me Love—beautiful, popular, and off on shopping sprees with her mom’s credit card and her blessing?

How many of us didn’t envy Samantha Micelli from Who’s the Boss?, growing up in a beautiful, happy home with a closet full of the cutest clothes?

Am I the only person who wanted to be Star from The Lost Boys, living the life of thrill and danger with four hot, teenage, vampire guys? Yes, please! (Okay, I still kind of want that, actually.)

Time and again, I wanted to be in a Johanna Lindsay novel or a Helena Bonham Carter movie, because it was the life I wanted, and I was in love with their worlds, their (fictional) lives, and most of all…in love with the fact that it was far from everything I knew and was surrounded by. Not only would I be free of the stresses at home, but I wouldn’t be me, either. I was in love with the idea that “someday” I’d be magically different and so would my life. Someday, it would happen for me.

And the great thing is, it did.

Although now, I don’t want to be anyone else, and my life that I love didn’t happen magically at all. I kind of learned through lots of trial and error that we’re, in fact, very powerful, and all we need is some determination to get what we want—be it success, significance, and/or happiness in our work and family.

Keep your eye on the ball and make a plan. Doing that, I created a life I was in love with.

-xoxo Pen

"We were perfect together. Until we met."


I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.


He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should've gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

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  1. I think this sounds really good. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check it out.

  2. This sounds really interesting, would love to read it.

  3. What a clever premise for a book...this sounds very intriguing! Thanks!

  4. Sounds like a fantastic book, and I love the cool cover.

  5. I didn't have many friends growing up either

  6. thank you for showing us this, now I need it!!

  7. vivid cover art! love the premise of this story.

  8. Looking forward to reading Punk 57! Thank you

  9. What an interesting book! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for such an interesting post - I’m new to your writings and this looks to be a good place to start! :)

  11. Penelope is a new to me author. Can't wait to check it out.
    What is you favorite type of story to write?

  12. Punk 57 sounds like something I and daughter would both enjoy.

  13. This book sounds interesting

  14. Samantha had amazing clothes! Yes. I think I wanted to be just like her too.

  15. heh beautiful take, thank you for sharing

  16. In so glad to be not the only one who had a girl crush on Helena Bonham Carter! She is so amazing.