Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest Post with Ivy Adams

Photo Content from Ivy Adams

IVY ADAMS is the pseudonym for three friends and writing partners: Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts and Tracy Deebs. Though The International Kissing Club is their first novel together, they have written more than thirty novels between them. They shop, gossip and watch movies in Austin, Texas.

TRACY DEEBS collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. From the first page of that first book, she knew she’d found her life-long love. Now a writing professor at her local community college, Tracy writes YA novels that run the gamut from dark mermaids to kissing clubs to techno-Armageddon stories… and she still has a soft spot for Judy Blume.

EMILY MCKAY has been writing since the second grade, when she first read the Chronicles of Narnia. She switched to reading and writing romance when she realized that Lucy was never going to get together with Prince Caspian. She’s a shameless fan of romance novels, action movies, funky nail polish and cookies. She writes everything from straight up romance, to YA rom-com to post apocalyptic vampire YA — just to keep readers on their toes. And she still has a weakness for a hunky hero who can wield a sword.

SHELLEE ROBERTS began writing when her husband, the extrovert, suggested that she, the introvert, take up tennis so she could meet people and get out of the house. Wary of too much physical exercise, Shellee took up the pen instead of the racket and turned her lifetime love of reading into a passion for writing. Now she spends all of her spare time writing at her local coffeehouse and she’s met all sorts of new and interesting people. However, she still only exercises when under duress.


Our favorite part of getting a DVD of our favorite films is checking out the behind the scenes footage and bloober reels included in the extras. So, we thought instead of doing the same ol’ blog post about what’s already in the book, we’d give you some behind-the-scenes scoop on what went into making The International Kissing Club.

1) There are four main characters in the book: Piper, Cassidy, Izzy and Mei, and originally there were four of us. However, the fourth writer had to drop out before we got started, so we split the characters up as follows:

· Piper = Tracy
· Cassidy=Shellee
· Izzy=Emily
· Mei=All of us

2) Food and eating played both a big part in our collaboration and in the actual book. The idea to collaborate on the book happened at a fellow writer’s Chinese dumpling party. Then after we wrote our chapters individually, we would meet over lunch and read them out loud to each other. We counted that we met at seven different restaurants over six weeks for the first draft. And in nearly every scene some type of food is mentioned or eaten by our characters. Even now, just talking about this book drives us to the refrigerator.

3) The original plot line for the book was as an adult chick-lit with 8 different characters.

4) The original proposal for the story was submitted under the title “Kiss the Pig”

5) In the story, Cassidy travels to Australia because at the time Shellee was traveling there for work. Everywhere that Cass and Lucas go to in the story, Shellee went. Except for the part about climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge—cause she’s scared of heights.

6) The character of Lucas, the Australian surfer who falls hard for Cassidy, was based on the Aussie surfing phenom Julian Wilson.

7) In an early draft of IKC, Sebastian, Piper’s romantic interest in Paris, was Algerian.

8) Whenever we read our chapters out loud, Emily does the voice of mean girl, Germaine Stewart, because she can do the most evil, spine-shivering mean girl voice ever.

9) Until we were in the final copy edit phase, no one ever caught the fact that we had named all the girls’ fathers Richard or that Izzy didn’t have a last name.

10) The pseudonym we originally came up with was Kaylee Adams: “Kay” from McKay, “lee” from Shellee, and “Adams” from Tracy’s other pen name. However, our agents hated it, so we chose Ivy Adams instead.

Thank you for having us!

Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?

Ivy Adams’ (The pen name of authors Emily McKay, Tracy Deebs, and Shellee Roberts) The International Kissing Club is a story of four girls who desperately want to escape the life of small town USA, specifically Paris, Texas. Nothing special or exciting ever happens in their town except when things go bad…embarrassingly bad and one of the girls is always at the receiving end. When they learn of the new foreign exchange program at their school, they immediately go for it in hopes of finding more of what the world has to offer and maybe even meet some cute boys in the process. They form “The International Kissing Club” as they keep in touch over a semester away from each other.

I think the most important element in this book is how realistic and relatable the characters are. The character development of the four girls is amazingly creative. The adventures they embark on and the people they bump into are the centerpiece of the story as they keep in touch telling each other of their experiences in a Facebook Fan Page that they created.

The authors cleverly laced a sharply written present-day fairytale that is very addictive from the very start. The travels and adventures of the girls are fun, thrilling, exciting, scary, and life changing. It will appeal to many readers with its bright mix of romance, humor, and importantly, friendship. The premise is truly gripping and it is definitely worth the read .
You can purchase The International Kissing CLub at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you IVY ADAMS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive IKC swag bag with lip gloss, signed bookmark, IKC mini luggage tag, 
notepad and a sample chapter booklets for Ivy's upcoming books


  1. ummmmmmmmm you ask the hardest questions Jean!!! lol Maybe when I met my best friend? :D ehehehehehe I didn't like her back then hehehe

  2. hmmmmm that would have to be meeting my best friend :)

  3. OMG!! This seems like a great book!! I LOVE the cover!! It's cute!!

    I guess it's knowing I loved my best friend, he was the most beautiful surprise to me, my mom made me notice him, though he made me happy, nothing ever happened, I never told him how I felt... It's all in the past though. But I still feel 17 when I think about him.

  4. Graduating :P Just kidding. Okay, this one time a friend and I decided to 'acquire' one of the boys' hockey jerseys (they had a lot), and did so while stuffing them under our shirts. It was probably a very dumb idea, but at the time it was a great idea in our 16 year old minds :D

  5. Just so you know sweetie it says your tweet is too long for us to tweet it.It shows up - 13 characters

  6. hmm thats a tough one. not that high school wasn't great but summers with my friends from high school were more memorable. so i guess it would have to be meeting my best friends....

  7. Everytime we when out to do a school trip! Those were pretty awesome! (ileana - raffleopter)

  8. When I went a school trip for five days in Rhodes - Greek Island before my graduation.
    Thank you for the great giveaway!
    Demitra Giote (my name in form)

  9. During the year I was in yearbook!

  10. When I got a 19 out of 20 in my Literature 3&4 SAC. I know, I'm being nerdy, but it was the best in my class and I studied for weeks for it!

  11. Graduation! And mine's coming up, eeee!

  12. My happiest high school moment... the last day of senior year :)

  13. when I did an exchange year in my junior year!

  14. When we have our immersion during senior year. :)

  15. Our trip to Paris was quite awesome!