Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today Is The Day!

*panic-stricken* Please visit my pal Stacy and read my post. And follow her if you don't already. She is awesome. Poor her. She said I could guest post. *hoping she doesn't lose any members to her blog*

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Someone Was Actually Brave Enough To Have Me Write a Guest Post.

What's up with that?? *wink*

It's over at Stacy Jensen's place tomorrow. And if you don't follow her, you will want to now. *begging for support* Here's the link: Stacy S Jensen (The courageous one) I heart y'all.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cool Contest At Len's Place!

Head over. Awesome Len. She really is, yanno? Lots of books to be given away. You know you want to win one. Did I mention the word free?? Head to Len's house .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fantastic Giveaway

I'm back to tell you about the giveaway over at In Time. Michael is a great person and a fantastic writer. Head over and throw your support his way! You'll be glad you did. (Geez, you can't get rid of me.) *waving*

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. *munch munch* Be safe and have a wonderful time with your family and friends. *wipes crumbs from mouth* See you soon! Hugs and smooches all around. *waving*

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome Theresa

 Please welcome my pal and yours, the wonderfully (oops, naughty adverb there) talented author, Theresa Milstein. I am privileged to be on her Fangtales blog tour.

Thanks for interviewing me, Robyn.

Tell us about your story in Fangtales:

Fangtales is a YA vampire anthology that had the criteria to be as true as possible to the rules in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  I had to do some research to see what that meant before writing my short story. 

My short story is called “Allured”.  Shalom is a new student who has been trying to snag the most popular boy in her high school.  A couple of people in her new town have been murdered, one in a graveyard.  She’s trying to convince this popular boy to visit the graveyard with her. 

That’s all I can say… 

How did you get the idea for it?

I got my idea with a sentence or two.  That’s usually how it starts.  I don’t know more than that.  Often, I don’t know the ending until I get there.  I just have this vague sense of where I’m going. 

Here’s the edited version of the beginning, which is pretty similar to my rough draft:

“I twisted a golden curl in my usual alluring way. Guys loved it when I did that. I lowered my voice, so Reid had to lean in to hear me, his elbows propped on his knees.”

After I wrote those lines, I had to figure out what she wanted and why.

How did you feel when you got the email saying they accepted it?

This was my first accepted short story, so I was thrilled.  I submitted the story last fall (just about a year ago).  The decision was supposed to be decided in the winter, but got delayed until spring.  After writing for five years, it felt good to be validated.  I wish I’d tried to write short stories sooner because I’ve gotten three of my three short stories accepted into anthologies.  If only I had that kind of success with my novels. (Note from Robyn: she will, she will!)

Tell us about your other publications.

After I submitted “Allured”, I heard about a call for stories to be included in an anthology to raise money for flood victims in Australia.  The criteria:  stories should be upbeat.  In my story “Daisy”, Debbie plucks the petals off a daisy to decide whether or not to tell her boyfriend a secret. I was worried it wasn’t upbeat enough, but it was accepted. 100 Stories for Queensland was published in May. 

The same editor who put together, 100 Stories for Queensland is the editor for Literary Mix Tapes.  She invited me to submit a story for an upcoming anthology, Tiny Dancer.  All of the stories are to be speculative fiction, inspired in some way by Elton John’s song “Tiny Dancer”.  My piece is about being a futuristic society that upholds a twisted version of the 1950s idea of domesticity.  Girls aren’t allowed to be traditionally educated and need to win beauty pageants in order to snag a good husband when they come of age.

All of my three short stories have a twist, which I hope the reader isn’t expecting.  

Thank you Theresa for stopping by today. You know I heart you, girlfriend.  People please. Go buy it! Smooch!

Linkage peeps:

Theresa's place:

Fangtales (go buy it): 

100 Stories for Queensland (go buy it too, if you haven't all ready and I know you have. Right??):

Yay Theresa!!!!!!!!! We love you soooooooo much!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be Here Tomorrow For a Little Chat With Theresa Milstein!

Don't forget tomorrow is my interview with YA author Theresa Milstein. You gotta stop by and read about her short story "Allured" featured in the YA anthology, FangTales.
She's so cool! Uh-huh!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Interview with Jessica Bell On Her Blog Tour!

Please join me in giving Jessica Bell a warm welcome. Jessica’s book String Bridge was available November first. I extend my hand (after reading the story and feeling her voice, my heart)  thank you for coming to visit with us on your blog tour. 

About Jessica:  
Jessica Bell is a literary women's fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, to two gothic rock musicians who had successful independent careers during the '80s and early '90s.

She spent much of her childhood travelling to and from Australia to Europe, experiencing two entirely different worlds, yet feeling equally at home in both environments. She currently lives in Athens, Greece and works as a freelance writer/editor for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as HarperCollins, Pearson Education and Macmillan Education.

In addition to String Bridge, Jessica has published a book of poetry called Twisted Velvet Chains. A full list of poems and short stories published in various anthologies and literary magazines can be found under Published Works & Awards, on her website.

From September 2012 Jessica will be hosting the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca, home of Odysseus.

 How long did it take you to complete String Bridge?
It’s a little embarrassing really. I started writing it six years ago and finished the final draft at the beginning of this year. It being the first ‘real’ novel I’d written (I wrote another one before this that I discarded. It was horrible), it went through seven rewrites. But I’m glad it did. It finally got the quality of writing and love it deserved after all that practice.
How do you carve out creative space in the midst of life?
With great difficulty. It’s probably one of the reasons I don’t believe in the “we must write every single day” mantra. To be honest, I can’t write every day anyway. I don’t even allocate specific hours. When I have time and feel inspired, I write. I think it’s perhaps because I write slowly and edit as I go. I can’t move on unless I’m satisfied with what I’ve written. It’s just my way. And it works for me. I’m now on to my third novel. Now it takes me about a year to finish that “first draft,” which is still a relatively long time, and then another year to revise, but my first drafts are more like the quality of a second draft when I’m finished with them. So I don’t mind being slow.
What was your favorite childhood book?
The Faraway Tree, by Enid Blyton.
Are there any books that you re-read?
There is only one that I’ve ever re-read. And I’ve re-read it four times. Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson.
Is there a book that changed your life?
That’s actually really hard to answer. I think every book I’ve read has changed my life, even if in the smallest way. I do know that the 2nd time I read Housekeeping, it changed the way I approached writing. It made me want to be one of those writers whose prose is savored rather than rushed through to “find out what happens next.”
Where did the idea for Melody come from?
I got really sick and tired of the “glorified” image of women in popular fiction. Every book I read, the women were successful and gorgeous and just so … “fictional” :-) I wanted to write about a “real” woman.
Did you write the music for the soundtrack?
Yep. All except the song for the book trailer, Famous, my mother wrote that one.
Is there a word or phrase that you overuse in your writing?
Ha! I don’t know … is there? Did you spot any? I think I used “gritted teeth” a lot, no? Haha.
Guilty reading pleasure?
Marian Keyes, Jodi Picoult and anything related to Madonna. :)

Do you want to attend Jessica's writers retreat and workshop in Greece, people?! *wishing* 

Buy String Bridge here:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Visit Jessica:
Jessica's house
String Bridge (a novel) 
Jessica's Place For Coffee and Tea 
Retreat and Workshop
Connect With Jess on Facebook
Follow Jess On Twitter 
String Bridge Book Trailer
String Bridge Merchandise

 Jessica is also an accomplished poet. She is filled to the brim with talent, folks.
 Thank you Jessica and I wish you much success with your writing, future novels, poetry and music.

Friday, November 11, 2011

String Bridge Chart Rush and My Review

Today is THE day to help Jessica Bell's debut, STRING BRIDGE, hit
the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrack
Melody Hill: On the Other Sidewritten and performed by the author herself, for free! And please read my review of String Bridge at the end of this post. Also, my interview with Jessica will be here on Monday.

All you have to do is
purchase the
book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and
then email the receipt to:


She will
then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperback:

To purchase the eBook:

To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

If you are
not familiar with String Bridge,
check out the book trailer:

Rave Reviews for String Bridge:

Jessica Bell’s STRING BRIDGE strummed the fret of my
veins, thrummed my blood into a mad rush, played me taut until the final page, yet with echoes still reverberating. A rhythmic debut with metrical tones of heavied dark, fleeting prisms of light, and finally, a burst of joy—just as with any good song, my hopeful heartbeat kept tempo with Bell’s narrative.
~ Kathryn Magendie, author of Sweetie and Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal

“Poet and
musician Jessica Bell's debut novel String Bridge
is a rich exploration of desire, guilt, and the difficult balancing act of the modern woman. The writing is lyrical throughout, seamlessly integrating setting, character and plot in a musical structure that allows the reader to identify with Melody's growing insecurity as her world begins to unravel … String Bridge is a powerful debut from a promising writer, full of music, metaphor, and just a hint of magic.” ~ Magdalena Ball, author of Repulsion Thrust and Sleep Before Evening

Jessica Bell is a brilliant writer of great skill and depth. She doesn't pull back from the difficult
scenes, from conflict, pain, intensity. She puts it all out there, no holds barred, no holding back. She knows how to craft a scene, how to develop character, how to create suspense. This is an absolutely brilliant debut novel. I look forward to reading her next novel, and next and next.” ~ Karen Jones
Gowen, author of Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds and House of Diamonds

Please TWEET and/or FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!

From the back cover:
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her own shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage -- and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits, and she realizes she's been seeking fulfillment in the wrong place.

My review:
String Bridge explodes with emotional conflicts to the very end. Melody’s story is an exercise in decision making, guilt, and in yearning.
Melody’s bipolar mother and her own self worth all threaten to send Melody off the deep, deep end. She believes that she is living a socially acceptable existence. But the strong desire to play her guitar is overwhelming at times. From panic attacks to believing there is a family curse, Melody must come to terms with what she really wants out of life and with her insecurity. Her husband Alex agrees that she should start playing her music again. This makes their marriage stronger until, you guessed it; Jessica throws a hammer into Melody’s happiness.
I loved Jessica's descriptions; they made me feel as if I was standing inside the book covers walking through it with all of the characters. Her voice is amazing. I found myself wishing and hoping that I could develop my voice as well as she has. The characters are flawed, but isn’t that what we want when we read a novel? They are real people with real problems, not some perfect smerfect types.
I do have to mention that this is a book for adults. It does contain swear words which I had to skip over. But her story, her music, her poetic voice are exceptional. The original metaphors made me want to start adding them to my own WIP.
Jessica is a powerful writer who intends on keeping her readers glued to their seats or bathtubs or wherever they do their reading.
On Monday please come back and enjoy an interview that I did with Jessica. You’ll be glad you did.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Welcome Project Mayhemmers! I Heart Middle Grade Historical. How'z About You?

I'm not the only one. Head over to my writing pal, Michael Gettel-Gilmartin  and check out all these fabulous middle grade novels. Click on over now. Read mine. Purty please.

Happy Guy Fawkes Day tomorrow. What is that, you ask? 

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

What are YOUR favorite MG historicals? Do tell!