Allison Winn Scotch's 5 Fall Faves

The Theory of Opposites coverToday's guest: Allison Winn Scotch Why we love her: We've crushed on Allison since we read her novel, Time of My Life and found out these 25 things about her.

Her latest: The Theory of Opposites

The scoop: What happens when you think you have it all, and then suddenly it's taken away?

Willa Chandler-Golden's father changed the world with his self-help bestseller, Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May Be Out of Your Control. Millions of devoted fans now find solace in his notion that everything happens for a reason. Though Willa isn't entirely convinced of her father's theories, she readily admits that the universe has delivered her a solid life: a reliable husband, a fast-paced career. Sure there are hiccups - negative pregnancy tests, embattled siblings - but this is what the universe has brought, and life, if she doesn't think about it too much, is wonderful. Then her (evidently not-so-reliable) husband proposes this: a two-month break. Two months to see if they can't live their lives without each other. And before Willa can sort out destiny and fate and what it all means, she's axed from her job, her 12 year-old nephew Nicky moves in, her ex-boyfriend finds her on Facebook, and her best friend Vanessa lands a gig writing for Dare You!, the hottest new reality TV show. And then Vanessa lures Willa into dares of her own - dares that run counter to her father's theories of fate, dares that might change everything...but only if Willa is brave enough to stop listening to the universe and instead aim for the stars.

Our thoughts: This novel was so much fun! Definitely snap up your copy asap!

Giveaway: ONE copy. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll choose the winner on Sunday, November 17th after 12pm PST.

Fun fact: Jennifer Garner's Vandalia film has optioned the rights to adapt The Theory of Opposites for the big screen!

Where you can read more about Alison: Her website, Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to check out her recent post over on Writer Unboxed about why she decided to "go indie" with this novel.


Allison Winn Scotch headshot1. Memory

There is something about the scent of fall that reminds me of returning to college. I loved my four years there, though I am certainly aware that I view that time with nostalgic rose-colored glasses. But still. There was always an anticipation, an electricity of returning to campus; of unpacking my J.Crew fisherman sweaters; of hugging friends whom I hadn't seen or spoken to in months (this was before Facebook!); of strolling under the towering trees that lined my school's main walkway and just feeling…invincible. That's what those first few days back at school made me feel. Like this year, anything was possible. So that's a pretty hard memory to beat.

2. Favorite recipe

It's funny – I have never been a cook. I lived in NYC for almost 20 years, and honestly, I never found a reason to prepare anything when I could just as easily pick up amazing gourmet food in, like, five minutes. But we moved to LA last year, and suddenly, with the farmer's market at my doorstep and that sort of holistic-mentality everywhere (which I swore I'd be immune to!), I've learned to embrace cooking. Well, baking actually. I've become that person who bakes muffins for her kids just because, and trust me, it's as shocking to me as it is to them. Anyway, not that we have particularly cold days here in LA, but everything is relative, and when the temperature drops to below 65 (hee), I break out the muffin tin. Here's a lower-fat banana muffin recipe that I got from Cooking Light and have tweaked a bit, that I make a few times a week for their school snack. The recipe is originally for banana bread, and if you did the loaf, you'd bake it for longer…about an hour.

2 cups flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar (I often mix brown and white) 1/4 cup melted butter 2 large eggs 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I use whatever my kids have in the fridge – often, strawberry or banana flavored) 3-4 ripe mashed bananas (I mash mine in my Vitamix) 1 tsp vanilla A bunch of spices – I shake in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and recently, pumpkin pie spice, which is AMAZING – just add in whatever you think sounds great Cooking spray

1.      Preheat oven to 350°. 2.      Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt, stirring with a whisk. 3.      Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 mins or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

3. Drink

This one is obvious, right? Does everyone say spiced apple cider? OMG. Yum. There are few things that are more representative of fall to me than hot cider. Okay, that's it. I have to go make myself a mug now.

4. Activity/hobby

Geez. I should say, like, apple picking or jam making or canning or something, should I? Or since I just bragged about my Betty Crocker-like skills, maybe it's pumpkin-pie making? Hmmm. Nope, none of those. Gosh, I'm stumped. One thing that I really do love to do, once the weather dips cooler, but not too cold (though I'm in LA now, who am I kidding), is to start taking longer runs outside. You know, right when the breeze hits that just-right temperature to push you out the door, even when you'd rather pull a blanket over you? Yeah, on those crisp, perfect days, I love to log in a good run. You hate yourself for doing it about 3/4 the way in, but your cheeks turn pink and when you're done, oh my god, you squint up at the sky and just think, "Hell yes." That's the perfect fall day.

5. Writing inspiration

I do always find it easier to write when the wind is breezy and the windows are rattling a little bit. Sort of like a bear in hibernation. You just want to stay inside and wrap yourself up in comfortable clothes and daydream. So I guess my writing inspiration in fall is just…fall. I hate winter, but fall goes down easy, you know? Everything is beautiful; the world is pretty marvelous; and life, until the temperature dips another 20 degrees, is pretty hard to beat.

Thanks, Allison!