Monday 31 October 2011

And the String Bridge Book & Music Blog Tour Begins ...

I can't believe it's been a year since signing that contract with Lucky Press. Tomorrow is the release date for my debut novel and debut album which seconds as a soundtrack to String Bridge. THIS. IS. SO. EXCITING!

Before I go into any detail about what you can expect to see on my blog for the next twenty days, I'd like to say thank you with all my heart to all you wonderful authors, readers and bloggers who are taking part in this blog tour. THIS IS EPIC.

150 of you have signed up to help promote my book and/or album. 


From tomorrow, aside from showcasing each day's blogs according to the schedule below my posts (I'm hoping this blog tour will also bring more readers and writers together, other than just promote my book!), I'm going to start titling my posts with lines from String Bridge, and also use those lines as prompts for my blog post each day (you're going to learn A LOT about me over the next 20 days, with photos to boot!). In addition, I'm going to run a little contest.

Has anyone ever guessed the amount of jellybeans in a jar at a fun fair? Well, think of it as something as random as that.

Here's the deal for the 10-Day contest (open internationally):
  • You read the line in the title and guess which page it appears in String Bridge. (people who have read the book can not compete, sorry!)
  • You write your guess in a comment and make sure you're following this blog.
  • On Friday November 11th, the Amazon Chart Rush day, I'll announce the winner. The winner will be the person who first guesses a number CLOSEST to the page a line falls on (pg. 1-288) If you guess and comment on all TEN posts (from Nov 1st - 10th) you'll have ten chances at winning the prize, which is:

Signed String Bridge Paperback

Signed String Bridge CD (Melody Hill: On the Other Side)

Signed copy of Twisted Velvet Chains (my poetry book)

PLUS a random book off my bookshelf (we'll have a chat if you win, so you don't get a book you already own.)

Also, don't forget, that on the Amazon Chart Rush day, November 11th, if you purchase the book (either paperback or eBook) and then email me your receipt to jessica(dot)carmen(dot)bell(at)gmail(dot)com, you will automatically receive a free MP3 download of the soundtrack to the novel, entitled Melody Hill: On the Other Side.

Not going to be around on the 11th? Purchase String Bridge now via Lucky Press, LLC.

And now to today's participants. The following are early posters so I'm directing you to their already posted posts, rather than just their blogs. So do me a favor, when you finish reading, please give their blogs a little perusal! :o)

Leigh T. Moore ~ (Review) (Today! October 31st) For some reason I didn't think there was much joy in String Bridge, but now I can see that there is, and what a great feeling to realize something new about your own work! Thank you so much, Leigh.

"Writer, editor, novelist, mom. New posts on Mondays & Thursdays. Leave a comment, make a suggestion, stay a while~"

Sharon Mayhew ~ (Review)  (Today! October 31st) In which she also talks about my poetry!

"I'm a mother, wife, former elementary teacher and writer. I'm an alumnus of the Highlights Foundation Summer Workshop and a SCBWI member. I usually post on Thursday. I read blogs most nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. instead of watching TV (unless Survivor is on). Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to getting to know you."

Karen Jones Gowen(Review) (August 17th) Thank you, Karen, this review made my year! So much so that a snippet of it found its way to the cover of the book!

"I love to read and I believe in the power of books to change lives. My passion is to empower authors and promote literacy. Editor, WiDo Publishing. Co-founder, I blog (excessively) about writing, editing, and publishing issues. I tweet a lot. My published works are Farm Girl, a memoir, and Uncut Diamonds, a novel. House of Diamonds is scheduled for 2011 release by WiDo Publishing."

Renae Mercado ~ (Review) (October 26th) Renae is quite the YA reader (and writer) so I was very interested to see how she went with String Bridge, which is very far from what she'd usually pick up. I think I may have succeeded to please! :o)

"When I'm not busy with my two adorable kids, or teaching second grade, I write young adult novels and love to read."

Laurel Garver ~ (Interview) (October, 27th) In which we talk about the making of a book launch.

"Writer, magazine editor, professor's wife and mom to an energetic third grader. Indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile. I post Tuesdays and Thursdays (and sporadically on other days when the need arises).
I write young adult novels, literary flash fiction and poetry. I love smart, sassy characters and stories that delve into the dark places where heart and soul are tested and growing up truly begins."

The Secret Writer ~ (Interview) (October 28th) Drop by here if you're interested in learning such things as how I started playing guitar and my embarrassing trash TV habits *cough*.

"My real name is Calum and I live in the UK. I started writing when I was fairly young, but have only started to write seriously over the past number of years. I have written and had published, quite a few articles for a variety of newspapers, journals and corporate websites. I also recently have started to write and publish a number of book reviews. As my full time day job is involved in the field of healthcare, reading, writing and blogging is my best way of chilling out after a hard day at 'the office'!"

To see the full schedule, let me direct you to the STRING BRIDGE BOOK & MUSIC BLOG TOUR tab.

Please TWEET & FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!

PS: The winner of Friday's contest is L. Diane WolfeCongrats!  Yep. My feet were the ones in the blue shoes and only ONE person guessed correctly. 

Friday 28 October 2011

A UFO in the kitchen means you might win a book ...

We don't celebrate Halloween here, but because a lot of my readers do, I'm offering a teeny-weeny treat for you today. A photo of a mini UFO getting ready to land between our feet. :o) No, that's not the treat. This is:

Can you guess which pair of feet are mine? The first to guess correctly will win THIS SCARY BOOK and THIS AWESOME CD :o) (open internationally)

How to win:
Guess which pair of feet are mine.
Comment with your guess.
Go suck on a lolly.
Tweet or FB this post, but that's not compulsory, you'll just do it because you're generous and you'd love to.

PS: My String Bridge Blog Tour starts next Monday, so I'll announce the winner of today's treat then. Along with my tour, I will also be running an ongoing contest until November 11th, when the Amazon Chart Rush will take place. I'm excited! :o) I hope you'll all drop by to check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Internet Book Fair!!! Extra, extra, read all about it!!!

Welcome to the Internet Book Fair! Just so you know, this was originally set up to promote your own books, but seeing as I've got this supah dupah blog tour for String Bridge set up next week, I decided to promote other authors' books.

Okay, those who know me, know I don't really read YA. But you know what? I'm actually interested in reading this one by Susan Kaye Quinn. It seems like a real "mind-#*@!" so to speak. Excuse my language, it's totally unorthodox, but sorry, I love stuff that deals with psychological twists so I'm really looking forward to giving it a go ... Here's the blurb:

"Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can't read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can't be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf's mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she's dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where being forced to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her."

If you want to read more about the book and/or author, Susan Kaye Quinn, CLICK HERE.

Eighty NineI don't read many anthologies of short fiction, but this one, edited by Jodi Cleghorn, looks TO DIE FOR. Who wouldn't be intrigued by a collection of short stories based on songs released in 1989? Interesting, huh? Here's the blurb:

"1989: a cusp between decades.
The year the Berlin Wall came down and Voyager went up. Ted Bundy and Emperor Hirohito died. The birth of the first Bush administration and computer virus.

In San Francisco and Newcastle the ground shook, in Chernobyl it melted. Tiananmen Square rocked the world and Tank Man imprinted on the international consciousness. Communism and Thatcherism began their decline, Islamic fundamentalism its rise.

It was the year Batman burst onto the big screen, we went back to the future (again) Indiana Jones made it a trifecta at the box office and Michael Damian told us to rock on.

Based on a play list of 26 songs released in 1989, Eighty Nine re-imagines the social, political, cultural and personal experiences at the end of the decade which gave the world mullets, crimped hair, neon-coloured clothing, acid-wash denim, keytars, the walkman, Live Aid, the first compact disc and MTV."

To check it out on Goodreads, CLICK HERE. They're actually having an Amazon Chart Rush for this book today, so it would be a great day to buy it! Also, first one to comment and say they want one will receive a free copy of this in eBook format! (PDF, mobi or epub)

All the stories will be live, and free for 48 hours beginning 9am Aussie time today. They all go up one every hour via the LMT official website


Dancing in the Shadows of LoveI'm told that Judy Croome writes with a poetic flair so how could I resist giving this a shot? It sounds like my cup of tea. I've actually had this in my Kindle for MONTHS, but still haven't got around to reading it. I will soon! Here's an excerpt of the blurb:

"Boldly atmospheric, buoyed by touches of magical realism, this compelling story explores the sacrifices people make in the pursuit of a love that transcends everyday existence. Lulu’s quest, and that of Jamila and Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray."

Sounds beautiful, huh? Okay, to read more about this one on Goodreads, CLICK HERE.


This blurb says it all:

"Haunted houses. Haunted hearts.
And a past that refuses to die.

Leap Books summoned best-selling paranormal and dreadfully talented debut authors to conjure up Spirited, a haunting collection of 13 tales guaranteed to keep you up all night.
Get entombed in stories of Egyptian treasures, shudder at tales of malevolent spirits, and dive in the adventures of witch-hunters, ghost seekers, and lost souls. From steampunk to cyberpunk, our collection of spirits from the past, present, and future will haunt you in these pages.

With this celebration of things that go bump in the night, Spirited authors hope to slay the truly frightening illiteracy statistics that plague our youth. All proceeds from Spirited will be donated to 826 National. 826 offers free after-school tutoring, workshops, and in-school programs because "strong writing skills are fundamental to future success."

Go ahead. Turn the page if you dare. We won’t tell if you sleep with the light on. Because after all, there’s no rest for the wicked."

Also, here is the blurb of one of the short stories you'll find in there, written by the brilliant Dawn Dalton: 

THREAD OF THE PAST: Letitia Hawke is used to feeling invisible and the only thing that makes her senior dance bearable is the location—one of the most haunted houses in the country. Then Tish makes an unexpected connection with Elijah, and it’s bye-bye wallflower, hello gothic rose. Too bad the Franklin House is a jealous host.

To read more about SPIRITED CLICK HERE!

Now this book, Lyon's Legacy by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, I've just heard about and I'm wondering why I hadn't heard of it earlier! Guitar? Music? I'm already hooked. Here's the blurb:

"Joanna Lyon may have inherited musical talent from her famous ancestor, Sean Lyon, but her parents' bitter divorce and her Uncle Jack's attempts to remake her into another Sean have left her hostile toward her family and music. Her passion is for science, but since she has no access to the family funds, she struggles to earn enough credits for graduate school. Then her uncle sets up a business deal with her employer to make Joanna go on a mission for him: travel via the spaceship Sagan to an alternate TwenCen universe where Sean is still alive. Joanna must collect a DNA sample from Sean so her uncle can create a clone of him. She refuses at first, but finally agrees to go. Secretly, however, Joanna believes her uncle will exploit the clone, and she plans to sabotage the project to stop him. But when she falls in love with one of the scientists in the Sagan's genetics lab, clashes with other time travelers who fear she'll change how history develops on the alternative TwenCen Earth, and receives devastating personal news, Joanna will find herself pushed to her limit even before she comes face-to-face with her hated ancestor. Their encounter will leave her changed forever. Will she still be able to thwart her uncle's plan, and what will she have to sacrifice to do so?"

This story is available as an e-book for only $2.99 at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

If you'd like to discover some other books on the market, make sure you drop by the host of the Fair to access everyone's blog links. Thanks for reading!!!

PS: See yesterday's post as to why I won't be around again until next Monday.

Monday 24 October 2011

You gotta do what you gotta do.

As you most likely know, my blog tour starts next week.

I am also inundated with freelance work, which I really need to concentrate on. And if I don't put my head down NOW, I will be, to put it lightly, screwed.

So, bar tomorrow for the Internet Book Fair, I'm going to stay offline as much as possible. Just lettin' ya know ... in case you wonder if my dog ate me for homework.

Have a great week!

Friday 21 October 2011

Runnin' naked through the snow ... etc, etc

For some reason this morning I got thinking about what I would want to do if I only had three months to live ... and you know what? I started panicking that I haven't yet written my third novel. The novel I have been waiting to write my whole life. That is the FIRST thing I thought about.

Would I really spend that last three months trying to get it finished? Am I really that obsessed? Wouldn't I want to grab my significant other and drag him to Australia to meet my whole family? Maybe take him on a trip through the Aussie outback and wear hats with dangling corks and blow into didgeridoos and fight crocodiles?

Wouldn't I want to see the Mesoamerican pyramids up close and personal? Fly a helicopter over the Amazon? Run naked through the snow? Fill a bath with glass seed beeds and sit in it? (with knickers on, of course, wouldn't want them getting stuck anywhere, right?) Wouldn't that just feel so weird and amazing on your skin? Ever since I was a kid I wanted to do that ... Okay ... I'm a bit eccentric, but we all knew that, yes? Ha!

Look, I know it's not a very nice thought, only having three months to live (knock on wood), but tell me, how would you want to spend your time?

Thursday 20 October 2011

On a mission to sell YOUR BOOKS. Want to join me?

In the name of offering some blog and author love, I've decided to take part in M.A Leslie's Internet Book Fair next Tuesday, the 25th October. But I'm not going to promote my own book, I'm going to promote YOUR books. I'll probably pick about three. And I think you should too. Just CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

There are a couple of other bloggers/authors you may know that have signed up too, like Elle Strauss and Susan Kaye Quinn, so really, you'd be in great company. *wink wink*

Once you've signed up, do everyone a favor and spread the word, and let's get some authors some sales!!!

Please tweet or FB this post! It's easy as I have the little icons below :o)

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Why armpits are a useful tool for suffocation ...

It's one of those days where I have no idea what to write. I'm sitting here, with my fingers lightly touching the home keys, staring at the screen and my very orange signature I'm still not sure I like. I can feel the energy zing below my fingertips, they're screaming, "Make me play hopscotch! Make me jump!"

I scream back, "Shut up! I'm thinking!"

Silence. Stillness. Zing ...

My fingertips groan and break out in a sweat anticipating their possible next move, "You are pathetic. You just scored a job that's making you giddy, and you're not going to let us type up your hype?"

My middle finger twitches ...

"Hey! How rude!" I lift my hands, which are now as heavy as concrete due to my fingers insisting they remain firmly on the keys, but I manage to yank them away and suffocate them in my armpits.

"Look. I'm sorry. But it's confidential ... I'll resuscitate you tomorrow."

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Muso of the week ~ Jane Siberry ~ An absolute genius

Chances are you have absolutely no idea who Jane Siberry is, unless you've been surrounded by music your whole life, like me :o) I think I was in my early teens when my mother introduced me to her, and when she did, I abandoned my Madonna cassettes and started listening to Jane instead. I fell IN LOVE with her album, "When I Was A Boy," and would make sure time was blocked out on the weekends, to move all the furniture to the edges of the lounge room, so I could use the floor space as a stage and pretend I was her.

Jane is the epitome of Madonna and Tori Amos in one pure skin of genius. She has the sexuality that Madonna embodied in the early 90s and the eccentric ingenuity and musicality of Tori. Her inflections were sometimes so complicated that I would be afraid I might destroy the cassette from constant rewinding and playing certain phrases over and over again. But I had to get them perfect. After all, I had an imaginary audience to impress. ;o)

If you'd like to have a listen, why not try one of my favorite tracks of hers:

Have you ever heard of Jane Siberry? What did you think of Sail Across the Water?

Listening to this again has just set off the waterworks ...

Monday 17 October 2011

If it were a year ago I'd be bawling my eyes out thinking I've failed ... But today I refuse to. Here's why ...

I don't really know if I've spoken to you all about my hunt for an agent. Actually, I don't think I have. So I'm going to bite the bullet today and let you know what I've been up to ...

I've queried about 70 agents for my second novel Bitter Like Orange Peel. Probably about half of these agents have replied, the other half ... total silence. Of the half that replied I got four partial requests and one full request. I've now heard back from all these agents and I'm afraid I've had no luck. I'm not really upset about this. But it does somewhat scare me. Here's why ...

Not one of these agents disliked my writing. In fact, I even got a few rejection letters that told me how much they appreciated my talent and creativity, and how they believed I had a strong future ahead of me. You know what else is even scarier? I can tick all these boxes ...

  • I have a kick-ass query letter (thank you Matt and Dawn for your help with this). And for literary fiction, I think that can be quite difficult to master.
  • I have a good platform. Blog following, Website, Facebook, Twitter ...
  • I have previously published works. A novel by a traditional press, a poetry book, short stories and poems in anthologies and literary magazines.
  • I've won a poetry award with Writer's Digest.
  • I have interdisciplinary skills. I'm a musician, and I've taken advantage of that skill to give my debut that little bit of extra drive. This means that I have another way to market myself. Double-whammy.
  • I'm not a one-hit wonder. I want a career out of this. I'm currently writing my third novel. And I don't plan on stopping there.
  • I have wonderful relationships with published authors and aspiring authors alike. I have one of the best support systems I could ever ask for.
  • Almost 100 blogs have signed up to participate in my blog tour for String Bridge, during November 1st - 20th. That is not a number to laugh at.
  • I have proof that I'm a good writer from all the amazing reviews I've received so far from my target audience on Twisted Velvet Chains, and String Bridge. I'm not afraid to say that. No, some people may not be a fan of my work, and that's to be expected, but others are, and I'm proud and thrilled to have achieved that. Let me say that again. I'm proud of my work and I believe in myself. There's nothing wrong with having confidence.

So what am I doing wrong? Nothing. That's what. So, I shall continue the Small Press route and strengthen my base of readers gradually. (Unless some sort of miracle happens between now and January.) The harder I work, the bigger my fan base will grow, I know that. And I'm willing to put in the effort. But you know what I'm worried about now? I'm worried about YOU.

Yes. YOU. All of you who are just starting out and dreaming to make it big. I'm not saying that this isn't possible. Of course it's possible, and some people are just super lucky and I'm TOTALLY happy for those of you who have achieved that dream ... 

But what about all of you out there who are a little bit like me? A little different in their approach to writing? Those who write in a genre which isn't likely to hit the bestseller shelf, or can't be pigeon-holed? I'm worried because I don't want you all to think that you won't make it, or that you can't write because you keep getting rejected. I don't want you to think that you aren't GREAT. Because you are. You are just different, and I think you should embrace that. I mean, for goodness sake's, take another gander at my bullet-pointed list up there! If it's difficult for me to get an agent with all those achievements, I hate to imagine how hard it is for those with even half of them.

What I'm saying is, having an agent isn't the be all and end all. Okay? Having an agent is just one of MANY routes you can take to have a career as an author. And most of all, I want you to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you can make anything happen. It may not be the Hollywood ending you dreamed of, but it might be a step closer to that Hollywood ending, you really never know.

Can you believe that a year ago today, I didn't even have ONE of those things in that list up there? So yeah. I'm proud of myself and I'm standing tall and flaunting it.

So my message to you today is ...

Be proud.
Stand tall.
And find another way to make it happen.

Over and out ...

Friday 14 October 2011

Pay It Forward Blog Fest ~ how could I not get involved in this?

Matthew over at The QQQE and Alex J. Cavanaugh are hosting a blog fest today in order to increase everyone's blog traffic. The deal is that each participant must list three blogs they think others should follow. But you know what? Yesterday, Leigh T. Moore cheated and listed more (she posted a day early). So I'm going to play her game. Hahaha! See, look, I've already listed three mega-fantastic blogs in my introduction!!!

Actually, you know what? I'm not going to cheat. That's just going to make it harder on everyone. All my buddies know who you are, right? So, without further ado ... here are three blogs which I think should get better recognition:

Not only is she one of my trusty critique partners, but she is also one of the most BRILLIANT writers I have ever met. I really am surprised she doesn't have more followers than she has. I think it has to do with her being so busy all the time, and I guess she doesn't get the chance to spread herself around the blog masses. And of course, she's busy brilliantly writing adult thriller and paranormal romantic suspense. I'm not allowed to talk about her achievements in public yet, but let me tell you, if you knew what she had in store for her publishing career, your jaw would be touching your toes and you'd be drooling incessantly--she is THAT good.

This is the brain child of Dawn Ius and Judith Graves. Navigating the social media waters can be overwhelming and Bridge Social Media is your lifeline. With more than 15 years of combined marketing and communications experience, they'll bridge the gap in your marketing plan and effectively link you to your target audience. On they're blog you can read all sorts of interesting facts about social media, and also about their clients. They also hold tons of giveaways you don't want to miss out on. But this company is just up and running this year, and I'd love for them to get some more exposure. This begins with BLOG traffic. So please do me a favor and click that follow button!

This woman is a superstar. She is a publisher, an author, an illustrator, and a musician. She even writes AMAZING poetry. I know that for a fact. I've read some of it! On this beautiful blog you can read about each and every one of her endeavors, be it writing, drawing or what have you. The talents of Janice are never-ending, and her blog never ceases to entertain. In addition to that, she is a generous, kindhearted, gentle soul, whom I will keep in my heart forever and ever. And how can I not mention the fact that she was the first publishing professional to whole-heartedly believe in me and my writing. She helped me make String Bridge what it is today. I can't thank you enough, for this, Janice. Do please follow her blog. Her posts really won't disappoint!

Please follow these blogs today, and comment on them if you can find the time. Also please take a look at the list of all the other participants HERE or HERE, and try to visit a few of those too!

PS: If you missed my radio appearance yesterday, you can listen to the archive HERE.

PPS: I have String Bridge Merchandise!!! T-shirts, Hoodies, Mugs, Kindle cases, Notebooks, GALORE! Check it out!

Thursday 13 October 2011

I have the Melatonin levels of a pubescent git ...

So I woke up at 11 a.m. this morning with my head as heavy as concrete. No, I didn't get drunk last night. I didn't even have one drink. And you know, this is not at all uncommon. I do this maybe two/three times a week. I set my alarm at 7:30 a.m. or 8, depending on my mood the night before, it goes of, I press snooze and the rest is history. I lose three and half hours of my valuable day. It's gotta stop.

I thought eating lots of fruit and veggies and doing yoga would help with this. My healthy lifestyle change is now going strong for over two months. I feel great. But it hasn't changed my sleeping habits.

Am I forever going to be a heavy-headed teen when it comes to getting up in the morning? I'm thirty years old for goodness sake's, doesn't this have to stop some time soon?

Got any advice? I hate it. It means I have to work late, or on the weekend, and it's a nuisance having to make up the hours I missed because I have the Melatonin levels of a pubescent git. Gah!!!!

Anyhoo, please drop by again tomorrow for the Pay It Forward Blogfest and get your blog traffic to reach the stars!!!

And please don't forget, if you want to tune in to my hour-long radio interview (in English) today on Kokkino 105.5, at 4:30 pm (Greek time), where the entire soundtrack to my debut novel, String Bridge, will be played in between questions, put THIS ONLINE STREAMING link into your favorites!

Have a great day, all! YAWN ....

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Muso of the week ~ Axis of Awesome ... believe me, you don't want to miss this one ...

Okay, so what? It's not REALLY a band, but I tell you what, they make me laugh, and laughter is the best medicine, is it not? You won't be disappointed ... you may even learn something ...

And don't forget, if you want to tune in to my hour-long radio interview (in English) on Kokkino 105.5, tomorrow at 4:30 pm (Greek time), where the entire soundtrack to my debut novel, String Bridge, will be played in between questions. :o) Put THIS ONLINE STREAMING link into your favorites!

PS: If you missed the result of the video I had to make yesterday in only a few hours, HERE IT IS.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Call for photograph donations for rock video clip ...

I have to make a YouTube video for one of my songs for the Greek press to link to. They don't want to use the book trailer, they want to use a song that they believe is 'hit worthy'.

The song has a very typical rock beat, is about 2 minutes long, starts off kinda quirky with plucky guitars, then gets heavier and distorted, and stops abruptly. It was my idea of a joke, actually, when I was writing it, but as it turns out, 'they' don't think it's a joke at all ...

I was kinda thinking of a theme along the lines of rock stars drinking wine, laughing, then arguing, laughing, then arguing, but I guess that might be a little difficult and over-ambitious, yeah? Anyway, if you're a photographer and want some exposure (you'll get credited at end of video) please get in touch with me and pitch me your vision! :o)

These are the lyrics:

Love is a Bitch of a Wine (Whine)

How many times have you tasted this wine?
Can you add them up and
compare kisses to affectionate touches?

Because love is a bitch of a wine.
Yes, love is a bitch of a whine.

Do you believe we haven’t kissed with our tongues?
In almost a year?
Put your glass down and plant your butt here.


It’s a long way down the road.
For a beer so let’s stay here and drink all our fears.

Because love is a bitch of a wine.

POST UPDATE! ... VIDEO NOW LIVE! (ended up just doing it myself ...)

Monday 10 October 2011

Singing into toothbrushes with socks stuck in my top ... yes, today I tell you a secret ...

Remember when you were a kid, and your favorite song would play on the radio, or on TV Hits, or on Rage (Australian music video show), and you'd grab the nearest object that resembled a microphone and perform to yourself in the mirror, striking poses that would probably only suit KISS?


If you were female, you'd also probably smother your lips in red, stick some socks down the front of your top, or even better still, find some cardboard to make pointy cones to stick down your top instead ... Express yourself! ... Vogue, Vogue ...

If you were male, you'd be touching and grinding your groin while attempting to simultaneously do the moonwalk, or painting your face and declaring that you were trying to mimic army disguise when your dad caught you out and gave you a concerned look ...


I do ...

I would also sleep with my Walkman (yes, WALKMAN, with those heavy headphones that resembled earmuffs), close my eyes and envision myself on stage performing Alanah Miles', Black Velvet in the raunchy fetish gear Cher sported with her tattooed butt showing ...

Yes. I did.

Now, last night, I didn't go as far as sticking socks down my top (I think my breasts are quite decent, so really, there was no need ...), nor did I sing into my toothbrush and strike poses in the mirror, but I did lie in bed listening to music, acting out the moves in my head, that I'd make on stage, pretending to be a famous rock star and all ... hehehe ... but you know what the best part of last night's little party in my head was? It was TO MY OWN MUSIC!!!

Hahahaha ... yeah, that was fun ... I should probably let myself do that more often. I had a pretty awesome night ...

PS: I have an hour-long radio interview (in English) this Thursday at 4:30 pm, on Kokkino 105.5 FM, where the entire soundtrack to my debut novel, String Bridge, will be played in between questions. :o) I'm excited! (and flippin' nervous) Hopefully those of you outside Greece will be able to access its online streaming ...

So how was your weekend? Got any secrets you'd like to admit to? ;o)

Friday 7 October 2011

An amazing book by an even more amazing woman ...

CleaveCleave by Angela Felsted
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've known Angela Felsted for about a year now, I believe. I met her through blogging, but got to know her even better when I started a poetry group on Facebook and we began critiquing each other's poems. In one word: WOW. Angela's talent is as much needed in this world as rain is to a drought. So, naturally, I want to give this amazing poet and musician some help to get the word out about her poetry chapbook, CLEAVE, which is available for pre-order through Finishing Line Press.

First, I'd just like to point out a few very pleasing aesthetics. It's all in lowercase. I'm a sucker for lowercase in poetry. I love how it represents a sort of purity and innocence, which, I might add, is remarkably clever considering the poetry is centered around childhood memories. Such a beautiful touch. Also, the titles of each poem are like sentences. Another unique trait that really caught my attention from the get go. I love it when writers break rules because, in my opinion, they are there to be broken, and when that happens, one's true voice shines through.

This collection strongly centers around the themes of music (even if quite symbolic) and tainted innocence. There are also a few religious connotations, but really they are only obvious if you decide to read the collection with religion in mind. I'm not a religious person, so I was so pleased to be able to read past Felsted's spiritual subtleties, and give them meanings of my own. This is a sign of true talent, when a reader is able to read and associate the words with themself, and not the poet.

I found myself ooh-ing and ahh-ing aloud over Felsted's work. I sometimes even thought, "wow. I wish I wrote that!" I could pinpoint my favorite moments from each and every poem (there is not even one dud among them), but I'm going to choose a line from one; one I'd like to call my favorite: "i was as water".

"...when i
tried to hold you
i tumbled
and slid
leaving sand on your
tattered shore ..."

I like to read this in two different ways:

1. to a person in my past
I am the wave. I tried to stay close to you, and love you, but all I did was leave my wretched debris on your already wretched land.

2. To my stringed instrument
I was holding you, but my grip on the bow was not strong enough (or too strong), it slipped out of my hand, leaving remnants of resin in your over-used strings. I'm afraid to play you. To hurt you. To hurt myself.

There is so much in this collection that evokes such a response. I will read this collection a lot more than once. And I'm sure, that with every reading, I will find something new to ooh and ahh over.

If you'd like to show your support and pre-order a copy of Angela Felsted's CLEAVE, please go HERE. You will not be disappointed!

View all my reviews

Thursday 6 October 2011

And I am SOOOO excited to announce ...

... that the STRING BRIDGE WEBSITE is now LIVE!

Here you can read about the novel and music, reader's reviews, learn where to purchase the soundtrack and access the lyrics to all the songs from the album. Thank you so much Steph for putting this together for me!

It's not long until the launch of String Bridge and its accompanying soundtrack and I am SOOOOOOOOO nervous about it all. And yes, my insecurities from yesterday continue ...

  • Will I answer all the interview questions on time?
  • Will my answers be unique enough to hold your interest?
  • Do people even care about blog tours or is it just a thrill for the author and the participants?
  • Will the Amazon Chart Rush on November 11th work or will it be a total flop?
  • Have I DONE everything I need to do, or has something slipped through the back door unnoticed?
  • Will my book be up on Amazon in time for the blog tour, or will Amazon make my life a living hell?
  • Are people really being honest when they post a positive review of my book or am I just being humored?
  • This is the first and last time I am ever going to release my DEBUT. Will I enjoy the whole experience or will I be stressed out about the whole thing?
  • Is all this self-promotion annoying? I'd hate it to be annoying and have people rolling their eyes every time they see "String Bridge". I'm so sorry if it ever makes you feel that way, but what choice do I have?
  • Will it actually sell? Will my soundtrack sell?
  • Am I pushing people too hard to help me promote this?
  • I'm SO excited. Is it coming off as STRESS? I think it is ... but it's not meant to be!
Please, please, pretty please with magical cherries on top, could you help me spread the word about the website today? It would be ever so much appreciated!

And ... have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Writing is my oxygen. Music is my carbon dioxide.

This month for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post, I'm going to talk about insecurities stemmed from juggling two areas of interest: writing and music.

I haven't done any since finishing revisions on my second novel, Bitter Like Orange Peel. Nor have I really felt like it for more than a fleeting moment where my fingers went a little jelly-like and summoned a squeak of their own, "Stop using us for work. We need to be creative!" But it wasn't long before I was working my butt off again, and ignoring their little pleas for pleasure. I can't NOT work. Things are really tough for us right now and I'm so scared of not being able to find the time to write again. I feel like I'm lacking oxygen. Writing is my oxygen. (And music is my carbon dioxide, but I'll get to that in a minute).

But I can't just SIT DOWN AND WRITE. I need a few days of peace to prepare my brain, and then I need weeks of dedicated time to write at least a few chapters that are worth reading. I'm not one of those people who can sit down and tap out the first draft of a novel in two months by allocating myself two hours of every day to do so. For me it takes time and brain space. A lot of it. Probably about a year's worth. So I'm panicking. I pretty much have about a year left until I plan to have my second book out, which means I need to have the third one ready by then. I'd better get cracking! I'm so afraid I'll never get it written and end up being one of those authors with a 20-year break between releases. I'm not a fan of that (despite my most favorite author being one of them--ha!) And you know why I'm afraid this is might be a huge possibility? Because of the music ...

I love writing and performing music. In my home. In the studio. On stage? I'm not so sure. It really freaks me out. I can't see myself going the whole hog with music. It's just not one of my ambitions, you know, to be a rock star? That's why I say music is my carbon dioxide, because breathing it in and breathing it out again seems to be enough for me. I get my fix and all is good.

But the release of my debut album which accompanies my debut novel, String Bridge, is hitting the media here in Athens next month. So far I've been told that it's being written up as "album of the week" in the most widely used Internet source of entertainment news here in Athens, and as "album of the month" in a print music magazine, this coming November. I've been advised to get a band together, in order to play some live shows. A band. Wow. Not only am I a very shy performer, and not only does the idea of doing live shows twist my stomach into knots, but what is going to happen if my music really begins to take off? How could I possibly say no to pursuing it? And will all my spare time, which I would normally use to write, be invested in band rehearsal and song-writing? What will happen to my novel writing? Can I juggle both and produce novels and music to the quality my perfectionist self desires?

Can I really be a one-man band?

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Houses flooding ~ houses burning down ~ houses flooding ~ houses burning down ...

So for two nights in a row I keep having this weird monotonous dream. Over and over ~

houses flooding
houses burning down

I wake up, I roll over onto my side, fall back to sleep ~

houses flooding
houses burning down

I wake up, I roll onto my back, fall back to sleep ~

houses flooding
houses burning down

I wake up, curse, fall back to sleep ~

houses flooding
houses burning down

I open one eye, "Ckufen ckuf, just wake up already!" doze ~

houses flooding (trucks honking in background, in reality)
houses burning down (Holly my dog whining to be let outside, in reality)

ARGH! I'm BORED! WAKE UP! ... I get up. I make coffee. I blog about houses flooding and houses burning down ...

So ... who's an expert in dreams? Anyone want to analyze? Feel free ... I'm totally intrigued ...

PS: Angela Felsted, you won Michelle's book! Drop me an email with your address. Thanks!

Monday 3 October 2011

Comment to win a copy of Michelle Davidson Argyle's novel, Monarch!

In honor of the release of Michelle's novel, Monarch, I am giving away a copy along with a signed poster and bookmark! All you have to do is comment on this post today to be in the running. I will announce the winner tomorrow. Contest is open to US residents only, as the product will be shipped directly from the publishing company (in case you're wondering why, seeing as I live in Greece! :o)

Michelle is a very dear friend of mine so I'd appreciate it if you'd follow her blog too. Her posts are both informative and entertaining. You won't be disappointed. And above all she is a wonderful person! So why not, say ciao too?

My review: 
"A fast-paced, action-packed, stimulating book you don't want to miss. With every turn of a page I could hear the bat of a wing resonate in slow motion, as if a special effect crafted for the big screen, preparing me for the next blow. Even the quiet moments, sprinkled with exciting and striking imagery, rendered me quite breathless. Not only because I was anticipating what might come next, but because it made me feel like I was standing on the edge of a cliff admiring a spectacular view. But that view isn't far away. All you have to do is open the book, take a look for yourself, and follow the Monarch Butterfly."

Take a look at the trailer:

If you'd like to purchase Monarch, either in paperback or e-book, please CLICK HERE.

Have a great week everyone! And I'm so glad to be back. Getting very excited about my own book launch! :o)