So, I’m writing Emma Sorensen a novel.

I was not intending to write Anabel and Jared’s daughter a book. It just sort of happened. It’s in the early drafting phases right now, but I have to explain what happened to make me actually start in on it.

So, last week I received a package in the mail addressed to me. This was very exciting because I don’t get a lot of packages in the mail, and when I opened it up, I was even more overjoyed to discover that it contained books. Books, friends! Someone had sent me books. I think we all know how the Book Princess feels about books.

I eagerly opened the shrink wrap and saw that there was a gift message enclosed with the books, which had been ordered on Amazon. And so I read it, only to learn that the books were not for me.

How strange is that? There was a box, with MY name on it (I double checked the box, and it was, indeed, addressed to AMANDA LYNCH and had my address printed underneath), but the contents of the box were decidedly not for me.

Which really bummed me out because they coincidentally happened to be books that I wanted to read. I kid you not. One was YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler and the other was THE MARTIAN, which I had read a review of and thought it sounded good. However, I felt compelled to contact Amazon over this (which led to a debacle wherein first they tried to get me to return the books, and I was like, I’m not driving to the UPS store, I have three small children, so then they were like FINE KEEP THEM), but I also, thanks to the gift message with the books, had the sender’s identity.

So I decided to see if he was on Twitter.

And he was! So I contacted Alex and explained what had happened. He was just as flummoxed as I (and later I learned that his intended recipient got vinaigrette instead of the books she was supposed to receive–here’s hoping Amazon has worked it all out by now). He also seems like a nice guy, so if you are on Twitter you should follow him @nagler. 

So, what does this have to do with giving Emma a novel?

Simple. I am using this as a plot device.

The book opens with Emma coming home and learning that Matt’s mom has sent her a package. She opens the box to find books. She contacts the seller on Twitter. She develops an interest in the seller.

See where I’m going with this?

Now if you’ve read my books, you know about Jared and his, ahem, past with women. So naturally, he’s not going to be thrilled about his sixteen year old daughter dating.

So here’s a snippet, in case you are curious:) Emma has invited both of her parents to go out to dinner so she can discuss a  matter of importance…

“So why did you bring us out to a public place to tell us something? Are you breaking up with us? Because you know you can’t, right? You can’t break up with your parents,” my mother teased, the warmth in her eyes spilling over to me.

“You would probably stalk me and hunt me down if I tried,” I replied.

My mother laughed. “So what’s going on, Emma?”

“I’ve met someone.”

I don’t think either of them were expecting that. My mother’s already wide eyes got even wider, and I saw my dad go pale. Really pale.

Thankfully, my mom got it together. “That’s exciting,” she ventured, keeping her tone light. “Tell us about him.”

“His name is Chad, and we’ve been chatting for awhile.” I swallowed. I hoped this wouldn’t be awkward. “The thing is, we met online, on Twitter, so we haven’t—“

“You met online?” my father interrupted.

“You met on Twitter?” My mom wrinkled her nose. “I didn’t know it was possible to do that in under 140 characters.”

“Mom—“

“So how do you even know he’s a real person?” my dad asked. Wow. He was getting intense.

“Well, we are also friends on Facebook—“

“I thought Facebook wasn’t cool with teenagers anymore,” my mother interrupted, making me question once more whether or not she had ADHD.

“Mom,” I ordered. “Stop it. Look, his name is Chad and he lives in DC and I want to meet him.”

My parents exchanged a meaningful glance, and then my mother gently asked, “Okay, Emma. How old is he?”

“He’s nineteen,” I began.

My father scoffed. “That is way too old, Emma.”

And then my mother started giggling.

“What’s so funny?” he asked her.

But my mom was still laughing. In fact, she was now laughing so hard she was snorting, and that seemed to set her off even more. “Jared,” she gasped when she finally got ahold of herself, “are you kidding me?”

“He’s NINETEEN!”

“And she’s three years younger than him,” my mother stressed, meeting my father’s eye. “Not, you know, thirteen.”

My dad’s face clouded over, and he frowned. “Anabel, that was different.”

My mother shrugged, and she smiled sweetly back at him. “You’re right. My bad. I think I had less emotional maturity at nineteen than our daughter has at sixteen. So really, that makes you and me so, so much worse.”

Anyway, still in the drafting stages, but I hope you enjoyed:)