Guess what? My YA novel, Back Talk, is coming out next week!! What better way to celebrate than have a contest and give away a copy.
kfAs most of you know, I love love love Top 5 lists. So here’s the deal. I’ll give a quick blurb/quote from Back Talk, and I want YOU guys to come up with a Top 5 list about the book. You can include music, food, books, places, fashion designers, movies… Anything!!!!

I’ll choose my favorite Top 5 and send the lucky winner a signed copy of Back Talk. Sound fair? Okay, here’s a clip from the first chapter:

“Metallic or electric blue?”

Gemma sighed painfully, looking over at Dana’s latest monumental wardrobe crisis. “Metallic.”

Dana narrowed her deep green eyes at Gemma. “Do you really like the metallic shirt better or are you just saying that so I’ll shut up? Because if you—”

“Jeez, Dana!” Gemma exploded. She flopped down on the bed, pretending to strangle herself.

Poor Gemma. A closet fit was one thing, but helping Dana was like prepping Lindsay Lohan for the Academy Awards. Dana needed Steven Cojocaru, not Gemma Winters. The words “fashion advice” and “Gemma” were as mismatched as post-laundry-day socks, but her enthusiasm was charming, in a Forrest Gump sort of way.

“Dana, the metallic shirt is cute. So was the sexy green sweater you showed me five minutes ago, and the grey-and-white Chloe tunic you tried on ten minutes before that. The only one I didn’t like was that green burlap dress. I know it’s vintage or whatever, but it looked like you found that thing in a Dumpster and it should have stayed there. Sorry.”


Dana discarded the electric blue camisole by throwing it at Gemma’s head and hung the metallic blouse over the closet door. Wise choice. Electric blue made Dana look like Smurfette on meth. The silk camisole slid off Gemma’s shoulder, crumpling in a heap on the hardwood floor. She couldn’t help but wonder if Dana was subconsciously using her as a laundry basket—the fashion elite so often blur the lines between friend and assistant.

Gemma bent down, tossing the shirt into the actual laundry hamper and grabbed the June issue of Cosmo in exchange. Hot-date closet fits are never fun for the dateless friend, and Gemma had had enough. In her sixteen years on earth she could count her entire dating history on one hand, and watching leggy, blonde Dana Cox prepare for yet another night on the town just rubbed it in. Gemma could read every article in every Cosmo and still not get a guy. Skimming the pages, she paused on ‘How to Have Great Solo Sex’ and sighed.

Put your entries as comments, and make sure you use a valid email address—don’t worry, it won’t show up on the page. Good luck!!!

UPDATE: people seem to be a bit confused by this. Basically, I’m just hoping you’ll read the blurb from my book and write 5 things that the it makes you think of. There’s no “right” answer. I was just hoping it would be kinda fun!!!

PS-Back Talk is available at both US & UK Amazon. Just, you know, FYI…

About alexgirl

I'm a YA novelist livin' in fabulous Brooklyn with my husband and our two kitties. I love film making, photography, music, chocolate, sushi, friends, cardio, TV, and a bunch of other crap I can't think of. One published novel, Back Talk, available at Amazon. (and another one in progress!)
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39 Responses to Contest!!

  1. andy says:

    Here’s a top 5 punny song list, which I chose to mirror the extract above:

    1. Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
    2. Sad But True – Metallica
    3. Trapped in the Closet – R. Kelly
    4. Smurf Rock – Gigolo Tony
    5. Orgasm Addict – The Buzzcocks

  2. Charm Thai on Amsterdam at 95th. They don’t even charge a corking fee and the food is yummy, I recommend the massaman curry. I love that Andy was your first comment, so sweet you newlyweds are. I am going to read through this later tonight after I have had a few glasses of wine and come up with mine. YAY for your book!

  3. Lindsey says:

    Thank you for letting me know about the contest. I actually have a galley of your book already. So I will bow out of the contest. Hope you have fun with it, though!

  4. Maya says:

    the book sound sgreat but i dont really get the competition. god, i sound like such an idiot.

  5. stella says:

    1: LaRoc
    2: Chloe
    3: Diane Von Furstenburg
    4: Sass & Bide
    5: Rachel Pally

  6. Seraphine says:

    Sera’s Top-5 “Back Talk” List

    5. Drama Queen Gum (Dramatic Peppermint)
    4. A framed brochure from Promises Rehab I found on eBay (with Lindsay’s autograph in the corner!!!)
    3. My Faux Louis Vuitton purse, which even has the metal “lock” attached to the zipper (Grin)
    2. M.A.C. Shimmery Loose Eye Shadow with Vaseline lip gloss! (Snap!)
    1. Getting my bangs cut just before the Prince Concert at the Target Center on July 7th!

  7. Jody says:

    Dana Cox’s Current Top 5

    1. The baby doll Marc Jacobs dress I stole from Gemma which TOTALLY looks WAY better on me, she was wearing it over dress pants not leggings – pathetic.

    2. The Apple iPhone that I sent my assistant to wait in line for on Monday, I hope she hasn’t forgotten to call in my dinner reservations at Momofuku.

    3. Jared – My Wednesday night date, I met him in line at Starbucks, we were both ordering chai lattes with soy, SO meant to be.

    4. My new airbrush tan, it’s the perfect shade of un-orange.

    5. Evan – My Thursday night date, I met him in line at Whole Foods, he was getting chicken and I am a vegetarian but I totally noticed he had on Armani and he had the new iPhone and anyone who has it early, has to be someone important so why not. Er, he might be a bit older than me but it’s just dinner.

  8. Hey Alex, great idea!!

    Here’s my top 5!!

    (To go along with Gemma’s Solo Sex Read…Hey! I’m single!)

    1. In the shower.
    2. Against the wall.
    3. Sitting up straight.
    4. Lying on your stomach.
    5. While typing on your laptop to your cyber-lover.


  9. Alexa says:

    I’m with everyone else, I don’t really understand the game so well. So…I’m just gonna play it how I think it should be. I’m gonna list 5 things about the book that I’m looking forward to. (I know, I’m such a suck-up! Lol.

    1. I love how Gemma says “JEEZ!!” I say that all the time. Although I get teased for being whiney. She sounds…I dunno. Like I can relate.

    2. “The only one I didn’t like was that green burlap dress. I know it’s vintage or whatever, but it looked like you found that thing in a Dumpster and it should have stayed there. Sorry.””
    Oooooh man, if THIS kind of dialogue continues through the entire book, I will be one happy reader.

    3. The clothes already mentioned–what girl DOESN’T like clothes? Haute couture! De mieux et mieux!

    4. 16 years of dating on one hand? I can relate! (Sort of.) It’s a relief that Gemma’s not entirely fabulous to begin with, because that kind of book is boring. It’s like a literary rule that all main characters must start off as an ugly duckling or something. I can’t wait to see what Gemma goes through.

    5. “Electric blue made Dana look like Smurfette on meth.”
    Didn’t I just say something like a “Hanson groupie on crack”? These kind of similies (I can’t believe I know what they’re called!) make reading SO much better. Like I said, this book definitely won’t bore me to death (Hooray!).

    Okay, so my top five kind of sucks. But I dunno, this book doesn’t seem like a waste of time AT ALL. I can’t wait to read it.

  10. jayne says:

    first of all, before we get to the real business, i am très jealous you saw SPOON! SPOON, i tell ya, lucky gal! they’re a genius, catchy, but not in a way that compromises their integrity and/or is total pop fluff (wow i sound like a wine snob for music, “honestly, nigel, that bouquet is far to robust…”). i started to fall in love with them after seeing “stranger than fiction” they’re heavily featured in the soundtrack/film- love love loved “mathmatical mind”, “monsieur valentine”, “i summon you”, “that’s the way we get by”…ok almost all of it! anyway moving on….

    as much as i am your “new favorite person” and i quote you on that one alex, i am also perplexed as to the what this competition thingy (notice my intellectual vocab) actually is, but it does seem to be open so here it goes, my best shot.

    1- I cannot decide whether this new haircut Chay did for me this morning is the right form of heroin-chic? Do I look like Kate Moss- the stylish one who designs that sexy Topshop dress I look even hotter than Kate in, or the one whose hanging out of windows with pete dorgherty. or even worse do i look like lindsay lohan, even though she did compliment on that dress by stella, which she personally gave me for my birthday, then again i hated lohan’s skanky mother, she spilled her martini on me. then again, is heroin chic really even in? But Chay is a genius, he cut’s victoria beckhams hair, i’m sure it’s a masterpiece!

    2-Oh my god, I have yet another headache, maybe I spent too much with The Shaft, my personal trainer, today. Even though we did triple bun buster or whatever torture he calls exercise, i was so worried about my hot date tonight, that I decided it would be best to skip lunch. Could I really afford to eat that crouton anyways!? What food group is Orbit Gum in? Oh well, I guess I need some hydration, I’ll just grab a Red Bull.

    3- Olga shrunk my new Marc Jacobs blouse! I forked over good money for that, well, no, who am I kidding, Daddy forked over good money for that. Oh, well maybe Marc is so passé, he has a myspace! Even though my yorkie, Priscilla has one too, for a fashion designer to have some gaudy myspace page, as if i’d be advertising for him! Besides I’ve heard Proenza Schouler are hot shit, they’re hot too, but Bianca eventually told me they’re both gay, after I tried to hit on Lardo, or is it Lazaro? And, well, Olga does make good russian teacakes sooo, I forgive her.

    4. Oh my god, what the hell are we supposed to talk about!? What are Jack’s hobbies? Uhh…learning new recipes for pot brownies? This is ridiculous, I wear Coco Madmoiselle and he smells like weed! But we’re going to the Bravery concert so I’ll probably get bud spilled all over me anyway, so whatever. The Bravery what do they sing again, “Clocks”? I dunno the last song I downloaded for my new iphone was “Umbrella”. I hope you can dance at the concert, I can rock that shizz! Despite how my friend & I were almost arrested for public indecency while dancing one time. I didn’t tell Cate to take off her top, she was just on some bad trip! She shouldn’t get her drugs from that Andy guy, though I did end up making out with him later that night…uhh…yea…I don’t remember it.

    5. At least I’m not Gemma. She’s sweet and more down to earth than Cate and Bianca, but the girl is so clueless. It feels like the movie, “Clueless”. She liked that Emo kid, Blake, he was like a slightly more charming version of Holden Caufman, or Caulfield, I dunno, I didn’t finish that book, but then he got really drunk and professed undying love to her, threatening to leap in front of the bus to end is misery, from her, she was just another soul who didn’t understand him, some crap like that. Poor, Gemma. Although, there was that one time she wore that ratty sweater her sister, Emily gave her and the girl at that hot new Brooklyn boutique said she was the next Sienna, I was the one wearing Missoni for god sake! Oh well I’ll show her how to hold a drink, even though I’m the worst drunk out there, or so i’ve heard….

    (God, I need that chocolate cake Olga just picked up from Dean & Deluca….)

  11. Jen says:

    I don’t understand…maybe i’m too tired to focus.
    it’s awesome that you wrote a book, wow!
    I’m going to have to take another look at this entry;)

  12. Meg says:

    ^^^Bahahaha Jayne! – “maybe Marc is so passé, he has a myspace!”
    Snidge = cute – I’m an Eva Rice fan (Wouldn’t it be awesome if you invented a word for one of your books, and then people started using it, and you became the ‘inventor’ of a word? I sometimes wish I invented the words ‘oats’ or ‘Zellweger’, I know that it’s a surname, but Zellweger is also just a really cool word…to say..randomly…it’s a little bit like Never Been Kissed, when the popular clique head boy man used the word ‘rufus’ as a sub for cool.)
    I really want a copy because I don’t think it’s gonna come out in the UK anytime soon?
    Because I love cocktails…or alcohol in general actually, I’m doing a list of (vaguely related) cocktails and the ‘how-to-make’ them.

    1. CHI CHI

    1 1/2 parts Grey Goose vodka
    2 parts pineapple juice
    1 part coconut cream
    Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until it’s smooth and pour into a glass.

    2. VAMPIRO

    1 1/2 parts Corzo Silver
    3 parts bloody mary mix
    6 parts orange juice
    2 parts pineapple juice
    Dash hot sauce
    Pour ingredients over ice.


    2 parts rye whiskey
    1/2 part Disaronno
    1/2 part lemon juice
    1/3 part lime juice
    Shake with crushed ice. Strain into glass filled with ice.


    1 1/4 parts Grey Goose lemon-flavored vodka
    1/4 part Cointreau liqueur
    1/4 part lime juice
    1/3 part cranberry juice
    Shake with crushed ice. Strain into glass.


    1 1/2 parts cherry brandy
    1 part maraschino liqueur
    1/2 part lemon juice
    Stir with crushed ice. Strain into glass.

    Get wasted!…I mean, errr, have a good weekend?

  13. ok this list is gemma’s top 5 memories she thinks about when the days are horrible….

    1- She was walking in the Village, not too late, and wearing something simple, a grubby guy at a falafel stand shouted that she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen…she toruned to give his a death glare but she could tell by the way he was looking at her that he was sincere…

    2- First kiss, under the bleachers during a pep rally…she would have let him go to second base….but he didn’t even try.

    3- drinking cheap red wine out of styrofoam cups alone and listening to the soundtrack to the movie Fame…she does this when she is completely alone (ok in reality she has only done this one time…but she intends to make it a regular thing)

    4- going into Kerquelen and trying on $500 shoes that she knows she will never buy, just to feel them on her feet.

    5- feeling nostalgic for ho,e….

  14. pins&needles says:

    1. Depends on what metallic color and how “electric” the blue is. Really, it does count. But if it makes you have that smurfette-on-meth look then by all means get rid of that!

    2. I love the honesty on the fashion advice even if it pisses Dana off. It’s the best. Besides, it sounds like Dana’s trying too hard on this fashion situation. When all else fails she should just go with plain or anything that looks clean. That’s the best fashion standard to live by and Cosmo won’t tell you that.

    3. There’s nothing wrong with being able to count your dating history on one hand. That just means you have less diseases than everyone else.

    4. She is subconsciously using her as a laundry basket.

    5. Is Dana gonna snort coke like Lindsey? That would be great to see that trainswreck in the book!

  15. Gina says:

    ok. 5 magazines Dana would read:

    1) Cosmo

    2) Teen Vogue

    3) In Style

    4) Elle

    5) Us Weekly

  16. Tru says:

    1. Carrie Bradshaw’s closet in Sex and the City (b/c whose closet would be better to raid?)
    2. Marc Jacobs dress I posted about that was sequined and such (b/c its fabulous)
    3. Daniel Rancliffe (a wonderful date, I’m sure)
    4. Phish Food ice cream because it heals the lonely sole
    5. romantic movie star kiss

  17. emily says:

    Will ur book come out in the UK??

  18. alexgirl says:

    YES!! My book’s definitely out in the UK (my new in-laws have already pre-ordered their copies!) Here’s the link:

  19. Heidi says:

    FIrst off: congrats on your book debuting!! Thanks for visiting me at and letting me know!!! I love your editor btw–he’s a doll (check out our hilarious convo yesterday on his blog.)

    Okay, here’s my ATTEMPT at this contest.

    1. Star Mag (the lindsey lohan reference)
    2. My sister as a whining kid (the smurfette)
    3. My book (the smurfette on meth line was like something I wrote ‘on crack’ but now i can’t remember the line. yours was LOL!)
    4. High school (i used to wear my sister’s discarded clothes from the day before cuz i had no since of style and was too lazy to put together my own outfit)
    5. Mr. Big (cuz the whole scene reminds me of sex in the city)

    It’s a great chapter!! I love your fun, witty writing!! If I don’t win, I’ll FOR SURE buy a copy–in fact, I’ll post about it on my blog!!

    And congratuatations, btw, your a married woman now right???

  20. Mrs Fashion says:

    Ooh – I want to enter! I never win anything but if I did I’d have to tell you who I am. It’d be typical that I WOULD win, for once… sniff, the hassle of being an anonyblogger…

    Instead I’m going to tell you that The Way We Were is still at the top of pile but Mr F says it’s a Sunday afternoon film and won’t watch it unless it’s raining. I don’t want to watch it alone cos I know it’ll cause tears!
    Mrs F x

  21. Lola says:

    Wow! Your book looks really good, I’m going to get it. Congratulations!!!

  22. Can’t wait for your novel! if im not a winner i’ll definitely be buying it

  23. Fancisca says:

    Dana Top 5 items you should carry in a bag:

    – Lip balm (in case you find a hot guy in the day light and need to give the not too makeup look) , beige lip gloss ( nude lips goes with everything);
    – Your cell (Blueberry);
    – Your video i-Pod;
    – Tanning Blush;
    – Extra sexy underwear (just in case)…

    Gemma top 5 items you should carry in a bag:

    – Your Agenda (in case you finally have a date and need to schedule the hairdresser and a shopping spree because your closet has the it things from 5 years ago);
    – A pen….
    – How to find a guy in 3 steps guide;
    – Lip balm;
    – Tissues;
    – Pepper Mints.

    Well…I don’t know if its original but I have fun doing it.
    I would love if they sold your book here in Portugal.
    I will try to get it and talk about it here.

  24. Glam Girl G says:

    1. Wardrobe crisis: Britney Spears daily wadrobe disfunction, Dana could wear the burlap dress and never look that bad.

    2.Metallic blue or electric blue…. Although not a good color as eye makeup as seen on Fergie in her my hump video, But as a shirt color Dana could most definitely rock

    3.Forrest Gump… Jen-ney I’m not a smart man but I know what luv is, Dana is a smart girl, surely she knew she really didn’t want Gemmas fashion advise.

    4.Wise choice… mmmmm a big bag of Wise potatoe chips for my snack as I lounge on my sofa, sipping a glass of wine, as I enjoy reading my signed copy of “Back Talk ”

    5. Watching leggie blonde…… which is what Justin Timberlake did as Cameron walked away, hmmmm now there is a guy I bet Dana hasn’t dated yet, hmmmm could Timberlake handle Dana?

  25. Nicky says:

    Top Five Guys that will hit on Dana tonight.

    5. Brad
    4. T-Money
    3. Stefan
    2. Mac
    1. T-Money (Back for seconds. Wow he sure is persistent!)

  26. Alexa says:

    Hahaha…I was watching Forrest Gump tonight as well.

    But nahhh…unfortunately, that’s not a picture of me. I just really like it because from what I can see (mainly the eyes) it looks EXACTLY like my mother when she was younger.


    I was thinking about taking a picture of me in a crown, however.

  27. Heidi says:

    hey alex–just checked out your amazon site and it says for AGES 9-12–maybe you can change it to GRADES 9-12????

    just an fyi–so you’re not targeting the wrong age bracket.

    have fun with it all!!

  28. alex says:

    of course, i seem to be confused (blonde much?)as well as some of the other gals, but im just going to wing it and humiliate myself. woohoo!

    well maybe not considering i cant seem to think of anything to put on this list!


    ok i’ll think about it or something and post when im more awake!


  29. Glam Girl G says:

    Hey Alex, thanks for checking out my blog, Yours kicks ass gurlie….
    wow you have alot going on in your pond don’t u? Marriage, book release, watching Forrest Gump, j/k on that one, but anyway I must say congrats and even if I don’t win the book I definately plan on reading it, and from the excerpt it sounds like it will be a quirky sassie fun book just as I perceive the author to me. Oh and btw, I loved Bare Essence the book and the movie…Best of luck, if your ever in Maine let me know, would absolutely luv to meet you and show you My city.

  30. alexgirl says:

    These entries are AWESOME! thanks guys. I’m going to narrow it down tonight.
    Heidi: I know, that is so annoying. I told my publisher, but apparently it’s impossible to change. Huh. I hope no innocent 9 year old buys this, because there’s some potty-mouth action goin’ on in it!!! ooops.
    Glam Girl G: you are so cute! thanks for the entry, and I can’t believe you’ve read/watched Bare Essence! My mom will be so thrilled.

  31. Meg says:

    I think that would be an appropriate use for the word ‘zellweger.’ I’m going to start using it asap. even if no-one else gets it.
    I didn’t realise your book was available on Amazon! I’ll definately get it in that case! And of course I will get it because I want to, just how many authors do you think read my blog? I can’t wait until I’m lending the book to people I know and saying stuff like “Oh Alex is such a nice person” or ” Alex is so funny” etc. so that they know that I know you. Because it’s cool.
    My best friend also works at the town library so I’m telling her to tell the head honcho they should order in copies. Do you have another in the works?
    PS. The boots? Yeah, they’re muy hideous.

  32. sophie says:

    how i would love a copy! Unfortunately, i am having a ‘brain fart’ as birtney spears would say. perhaps in a few minutes i will come up with something!

  33. Want a copy too hahaha
    What so pretty cat !!

  34. rollergirl says:

    I am so buying this book on Amazon. I didn’t read all the blurb (I’m catching up on a week’s worth of blogging!) but it reminded me of watching my BOYFRIEND get ready for a night out. Just make a f*cking decision and let’s get the hell outta here goddammit!

  35. india says:

    Top 5 things running through Kung Fu’s head as he reads “Balk Talk”:

    1. I’m hungry
    2. I wonder what the pages taste like
    3. do I smell a cockroach?
    4. I’d kinda rather be chewing a plastic bag right now, but…
    5. this book kicks ass!!!!!


  36. Alexa says:

    Q: Your book is coming out as a hardcover, correct?

    (I remember hearing something about paperbacks only come out as a second publishing or something.)

    If so, I may need to lift some couch cushions, lol.

    Q: And–will it be available at my local BORDERS?

  37. Pingback: Alex Richards » Blog Archive » July already?

  38. Rachel~ says:

    Congrats girlie on your wedding and your book! Hope your family is doing great. Sorry I missed opening this until now. I’d like to catch up someday soon.

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