We’ve got a title! And a book summary! And now we need advanced reviewers!

In a world before social networks made it a routine act performed with a click, “like” is a state of mystery and meaning among teenagers navigating the halls of Wadena Senior High School. Fifteen-year-old Monica is sure she would be happy if only she had boyfriend, but first she endures a litany of boys who think flirting is accomplished with insults and other shenanigans. After her first kiss, performed on a dare and described in the pages of Dear Diary as “the pits! Gross! Dirty!,” Monica learns the truth about French kissing from a charming outsider. Navigating relationships and learning the meaning of like—or love—is far trickier.

Set in a “hick town” on the windswept plains of Minnesota where a teenager’s social calendar is marked by basketball games, cafeteria dances and playing Pac-Man at the bowling alley arcade, Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat: On Finding the Meaning of ‘Like’ in 1982 examines the fateful year Monica devotes to reeling in a keeper of a boyfriend like so much walleye. With self-deprecating humor, authenticity and awkward details captured on the pages of the diaries Monica faithfully kept at the time, it’s a story that reminds us what it feels like to be a teenager again, grappling with timeless questions of desire, loyalty and meaning.

This book is for every teenager trying to navigate the maze of finding true love, or at least true “like,” and for every woman who grew up in the ’80s who might have forgotten all she learned during those seemingly simpler times.

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Sound like the kind of book you might enjoy? I hope so, because I’m super excited about it. This is the description for my new memoir, Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat: On Finding the Meaning of ‘Like’ in 1982, the story of the year I turned 15 and learned to French kiss.

Unlike my first book, The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal, this one is a bit more fun. Let’s say it’s lightweight and light-hearted. It, too, has sex, crime and betrayal, but the sex is kissing, the crime is petty larceny and the betrayal is of the sort all too common in high school.

Regular readers will know I’ve been working on this particular work-in-progress since 2012. After a couple of fits and starts, it’s ready for advanced reviewers. Unlike beta readers, who read the manuscript in early stages and provide feedback that may change the trajectory of the book, an advanced reviewer gets the book before it’s available to the general public in exchange for writing an honest review. Honest, authentic reviews and feedback written by real readers will impact the success of my book when it is officially released (fingers crossed, in January 2017).

Here’s the nitty-gritty:

  • Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat is about 60,000 words long (or about 250 paperback pages). I realize it’s the holidays, but I need advance reviewers to commit to writing a review by Jan. 15 on, preferably, two sites (Amazon, Goodreads, personal blog, etc.).
  • My ideal readers are teenage girls ages 15+ and women who grew up in the ’80s. Would love a mother-daughter team. I’ve got a discussion guide in the back of the book designed to inspire moms and daughters to talk about relationships and sex, and I’d love feedback on this.
  • The final draft is with my editor now. It’s a clean manuscript, but I can’t promise you won’t find typos or grammar mistakes. I’d prefer you alert me to problems you encounter rather than rant about my sloppiness in your review.
  • Advance copies will be available on Kindle only. I’ll fill you in on the when and how once things get lined up.
  • I’m looking for five or six advanced reviewers.

If you’re interested in helping me out by serving as an advanced reviewer, let’s connect. Click on the Contact tab above (or, if you’re reading this post in your email, visit my site here and click on the Contact tab) and be sure to click on the “advanced reviewer” check box.

Not up to an advanced review? Stay tuned. Very soon, maybe as soon as next week, I’m going to be soliciting votes on the cover for my new book. I did this for my last book, How to Look Hot & Feel Amazing in Your 40s, and it was great fun. I’m working up a couple of options from which to choose for Truth, Dare, and they’re not quite read to unveil yet. If you’re not a subscriber to this blog, become one so you don’t miss it!