Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Verse Day

One of the coolest things about the weekly Verse Day feature is discovering new authors and bloggers to follow, and this week it's Marcie Flinchum Atkins.  Marcie's post includes an elementary school lesson plan featuring the haiku anthology STONE BENCH IN AN EMPTY PARK.  I work with elementary school kids at an after-school program, and I do occasionally get to lead writing activities with them, so I will hopefully be able to use this!  You can check out the full post on Marcie's blog here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Blitz: Forged in Grace by Jordan E. Rosenfeld

The book Forged in Grace first came to my attention because the book blitz sign-up was right above the sign-up for my own recent book blitz on Giselle's Xpresso Book Tours page.  I was instantly intrigued by the  title and cover image, and as soon as I read the book description, I knew I had to participate in this one!  It sounds dark and suspenseful and very original.  Today I have a really fascinating guest post from author Jordan E. Rosenfeld, with her thoughts on the thorny and complex nature of female friendships and the part they play in Forged in Grace, and I also have a giveaway for you!

Publication date: February, 2013
Genre: Psychological Suspense (Adult w/ YA and NA crossover appeal)
Grace Jensen survived a horrific fire at age 15. The flames changed her: badly scarred in body and mind, Grace developed an ability to feel other people’s pain. Unable to bear human touch, she has made a small life for herself in Northern California, living with her hoarder mother, tending wounded animals, and falling a little in love with her former doctor. Her safe world explodes when the magnetic Marly Kennet reappears in town; Grace falls right back into the dynamic of their complicated friendship. Marly is the holder of many secrets, including one that has haunted Grace for over a decade: what really happened the night of the fire?

When Marly exhorts Grace to join her in Las Vegas, to make up for the years they have been lost to each other, Grace takes a leap of faith and goes. Although Marly is not entirely honest about her intentions, neither woman anticipates that enlarging Grace’s world will magnify her ability to sense the suffering of others—or that she will begin to heal wounds by swallowing her own pain and laying her hands on the afflicted.

This gift soon turns darker when the truth of Marly’s life—and the real reason she ended her friendship with Grace—pushes the boundaries of loyalty and exposes both women to danger.

Add Forged in Grace on Goodreads and purchase it on Amazon.

And now on to the guest post...


When I first began writing FORGED IN GRACE, or rather, when the character of Marly whispered in my ear while I stoked a fire in a little cabin overlooking a wild river, I knew right away this would be a story about female friends. I didn’t know it would be a dark exploration, but when all was said and done, I continue to think of this novel as a “dark love story of friendship.” That is to say, it’s a story that celebrates the powerful bonds that young girls forge with one another as they act as surrogates to each other for the mature relationships that will come down the road.

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of friends in my life, but as a girl, I only had one best friend, Sacha. The tried-and-true bestie who was part sister, part romantic stand-in, part keeper of secrets. She could make me feel good or break my heart all in the same day. She was an athlete to my bookworm, daring and brave where I was timid. She came from a loud family with brothers and two European parents. I was a latch-key kid from a “broken” home with two hippie parents.
Like Grace does Marly in the novel, I adored and was slightly in awe of Sacha. She bounced back from sleights while I wilted. She took the world head on, while I crept at it from the shadows. We fought, sometimes for days, but always came back together. Not until high school—though Sacha was a year older than I was—did a wedge come between us, and that wedge was, natch, another girl, named Shawna. A prettier, more sophisticated, worldly girl than me who didn’t use “too big” words and needed to wear a bra. Quickly I became replaced. It was a theme that would repeat in my life as part of the messy geometry of friendship. A theme that seems to happen to so many girls, teaching the painful lesson of jealousy and self-esteem, of loyalty and betrayal.

In FORGED IN GRACE, Grace has an unhealthy bond with the bold, beautiful Marly. Grace wants what Marly seems to have. And yet Marly is all pretense and façade. Her external world hides the darkness she keeps tucked away. What Grace thinks she wants, Marly may not actually have, and vice versa. And it’s up to Grace to realize her own talents and power in order to come to see the friendship for what it was, and is. A lesson many girls can use.

Many of my favorite books and movies about dark female friendships touch upon an overt or indirect sexuality between the girls. As an adult I can see now that most of these friendships are not, explicitly, sexual—barring those that really are, of course, and that’s not what I’m talking about in this piece—but rather girls, with their fluid and often early developed emotional lives, need to start exercising these feelings before the boys get around to it. They test them on each other, for better or worse. They project things onto one another that will someday be meant for their mates. In the best of scenarios, they forge life-long friendships; in others, jealousy and competition draw them apart.

As an adult, lucky to have a circle of dear, trusted women friends with whom I can talk honestly and show my dark and messy sides, I now look back on the friends of my youth with a clearer eye.  It was my girlfriends upon whom I first tested the strategies of what would someday become my grown-up relationships at slumber parties where we whispered to the night sky our deepest desires and fears. Like Grace, those early friendships are important artifacts that reveal precious information to me about myself.


Jordan E. Rosenfeld learned early on that people prefer a storyteller to a know-it-all. She channeled any Hermione-esque tendencies into a career as a writing coach, editor and freelance journalist and saves the Tall Tales for her novels. She earned her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of the books, Make A Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books) and Write Free! Attracting the Creative Life with Rebecca Lawton (BeijaFlor Books). Jordan’s essays and articles have appeared in such publications, Publisher’s Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, The St. Petersburg Times, The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazine. Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report, a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio. She lives in Northern California with her Batman-obsessed son and Psychologist husband.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Blitz: His Allure, Her Passion by Juliana Haygert

I loved Juliana Haygert's debut novella, Her Heart's Secret Wish, so I knew I wanted to participate in the book blitz for her newest release, His Allure, Her Passion, organized by Xpresso Book Tours.  This book should be out any day now, and I just may be stalking Amazon, seeing if it's out early!  While we're all waiting, I have an excerpt to share with you, along with a giveaway!

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication date: February 2013 by Decadent Publishing

In his father’s eyes, Dylan Deveraux is just a playboy spending the family fortune on prostitutes, alcohol, and fast cars. And it isn't even with the cars his father produces. Because of that, his father forbids his presence at the ball that will mark the launch of the US plant of his company, strategically scheduled on Valentine’s Day.

Hayley Allen is a failing model with the worse luck in the world. She always ends up in the hands of cruel designers and photographers. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Better than admit having a weak nervous system that always reacted during her gigs. Desperate, she would do anything to help her career.

Dylan shows up at her door, wasted as usual. Friends for a long time, Hayley is the only one able to put up with Dylan’s bullshit, and he appreciates that, but not the way her heart wants.

Even though he doesn't believe in Valentine's Day, Dylan has an idea for his father's ball. When he suggests a deal to Hayley, a deal that could finally put her in the spotlight of success and help him impress his father, she doesn't hesitate. Even if it means hurting her heart a little more.

You can buy Juliana's books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And now, the excerpt...

On tiptoes, Dylan crossed the short corridor and found Hayley sleeping on the couch. She looked peaceful, but he doubted she was really comfortable there. The pillow was on the floor, the comforter pressed in between her legs and arms, as if she was hugging it, her delicate feet propped on the arm of the couch. Her long amber hair fell around her shoulders, her tank top had ridden up, showing a piece of her soft midriff skin, and her breasts barely fit inside her tight top.
Shit. He turned his back to her, ashamed at having stared at her body.
But it was such a nice body, how could he resist? He peeked at her over his shoulder. He didn’t understand how she wasn’t a famous model yet. She was so, so beautiful.
He smiled, remembering the first time he saw her. They were at a party, and he spent over six hours trying to woo her, but she didn’t fall for his bullshit. No girl had ever resisted him—except Hayley. She was the first and only. And that’s how their friendship was born. Even though his instinct was to try and kiss her and sleep with her each time he saw her, Dylan had found a true friend in her, and for that he put his physical needs aside. She was the only one who understood his problems, his dark moments, who endured him, who saw past the bullshit, and didn’t throw herself at him. More importantly, she didn’t care about his fortune.
Hayley stirred, moaned, and opened her eyes. “What are you smiling about?”
Was he smiling?  “Nothing.” He sat in an armchair beside the couch. As she sat up, she pulled the comforter up to hide herself. “Hey, hmm, sorry. I didn’t mean to take your bed.”
“I know.” She smiled and her green eyes shone.
“Was I too much of a jerk?”
“The usual.”
Their eyes locked and she lost her smile. There was so much he wanted to tell her, so much shit about his life, but he was always afraid he'd push her away if she found out every one of his little messes. Wouldn’t it be better, though? For her? To be away from him and his bad influence? But then who would give him pep talks and receive drunken him with open arms in the wee hours of the night? Who would tell him everything would be okay? Who would give him a hug when he was down because of his brother? He had driven many, many times from Princeton to New York just to have one of those hugs.
She was one of those rare jewels and he couldn’t afford to lose her.
Feeling like a coward, Dylan averted his gaze.


Juliana Haygert

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Tour: Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle

Today we're celebrating the release of Heather McCorkle's fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire! For today's stop Heather is answering the following question:

Why write from a dragon's point of view?

Heather: Dragons have fascinated me since I was very little. They are well covered in literature but it's rare to find a story written from their point of view. I wanted to give voice to the creature that has captured my imagination so completely.

Here is a bit about it:

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized...

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.

While The Dragon Empire is for ages young adult and up, it does contain mild violence and some difficult subject matter. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

What I've Learned from Critical Reviews

When I first started to get reviews in for Defy the Stars, I wrote a post about how incredibly helpful reader/blogger reviews are, especially the more critical ones.  Reading these reviews is a chance to see your book through someone else's eyes, and it helps you understand how others think about the  reading experience and how their expectations and priorities may differ from your own.  Obviously, you just can't please everyone, but it's ALWAYS worthwhile to see how someone views your I thought I'd follow up on that first post by giving a specific example of something I've learned from reviews of Defy the Stars.  And that something is, as a general rule...

Don't create characters just for the sake of having more people.  And especially don't give those characters names and/or physical descriptions unless you intend to develop them, because if you don't, you're bound to get some of this reaction:

I've realized this is something I do a lot because, realistically, in most scenes of a book there will probably be multiple people around.  Most teenage girls don't sit with only their best friend at an otherwise empty lunch table, or only go out with one other person on the weekend.  But for better or worse, making every scene like this...

..does not a good book make.  The fact is...shh...novels are actually not that realistic.  (Not that the above photo is a realistic portrait of human relationships either, but I digress...)  Rather, novels are a carefully chosen collection of moments, scenes, characters, and thoughts, organized, ordered and filtered to evoke a response from the reader.  If the writer does their job well, the reader may feel like they're reading an accurate depiction of human life, but, really...they're not.  So as a writer, it's my job to make sure every character is there for a REASON and actually contributing to the story, rather than just being there for the sake of making things more "realistic."

Author Jaclyn Dolamore also wrote a very good post about this on her blog.  And I'll leave you with her words, since they're much more eloquent and to the point than mine:

"I am going to try to banish the word "realistically" from my vocabulary--well, or at least pare it back. It's one thing to get serious research details wrong, but the actual storytelling? Well, it probably shouldn't be TOO realistic."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Blast: Bent by H.B. Heinzer

I'm so excited to be participating in the book blast for Bent, a contemporary romance by H.B. Heinzer, which released on January 22nd.  I have a guest post from J.B. about how she manages to juggle the roles of full-time writer and parent...and I have to say, I wish I had her work ethic and determination!  And I also have a giveaway for you!!!

If there’s one thing Julia Wilson has learned in life, it’s that you can’t push your own dreams to the background for anyone. Newly divorced, Julia returns to the hometown she once swore would never see her again. Her plan is simple; enjoy the cheap rent her friend is offering and stay just long enough to develop a plan to make her own dreams come true.

It doesn’t take long before Julia realizes she’s made a big mistake.

Micah Anderson came closer to breaking Julia than anyone else ever had. After promising her forever, he broke her heart the week before she left for college. Now, Julia’s back in town and he’s going to have to tell her the truth about why he left her. It’s not possible to hide a twelve year old child when you live in a town of 5,000 people.

Is following your dreams worth it if it means giving up on a second chance with her first love? Is trying to make a relationship work worth it if his past becomes a threat to her safety?

Add Bent on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon.


I’ve been reading romance novels for over 20 years now. My fascination started with my mother’s collection of romance novels which lined half of one wall in the master bedroom of my childhood home. After I graduated from high school, life began to interfere with my reading and I didn’t read nearly as often as I would like. When my daughter was born, we decided that it would be more beneficial for me to be a stay at home mom. To fill the income gap, I began freelance writing for a variety of websites and print publications.

From there, I progressed to writing blogs as a way to hang on to the pieces of myself I felt slipping away as I filled my roles as wife and mother. Blogging slowly morphed from a creative outlet for my writing to a way to place another egg in my work at home basket.

It wasn’t until attending a blogging conference in 2012 that I was overcome with the need to write a book. I’d been thinking about it since I was 15 but it was one of those “someday” dreams. There were two speakers at that conference who convinced me I needed to do it. Just shy of a year later, here I am!

Visit H.B. at her websitetwitterfacebook, and goodreads pages. 

And now for the guest post...

A Day in the Life of HB Henizer

I'll admit, there was a time when I had this misguided notion that being a writer would mean I had time to sit down and write for hours on end and the words would flow from my fingertips. Then I started to write. But as soon as I sat down to write, I had two kids who needed me right this very minute even though there are two other adults in our house. So, after writing the first three words of a sentence, I'm jerked out of my zone and thrust back into my role as a mommy.

There's nothing typical about a day in my life since making the decision to listen to my friends who'd been hounding me for years to find the time to write.

When I did make that decision, I spent far more time trying to figure out the best way to write than I did actually writing. While that may not have been the best decision ever, it did lead me to On Writing by Stephen King. It's one of those books that everyone seemed to agree was a must-read for anyone who wanted to write. From that book, I gained a few good tips that I try to follow, no matter what.

Read, Read, Read – This is the part of the job that I have to rein in so I have time to write. While it made sense that you can't write if you don't read, I didn't realize just how important it was until I started making a point to read every single day. Unfortunately, I read books the same way I watch movies; from start to finish. It's about as easy for me to set down a book as it is to pause a movie and come back to it the next day. It doesn't happen.
Writing Every Day – This is easy to do on those days when I feel inspired and the words are coming. Not so much on the days when I have no clue what my characters are saying to me or I am alone on parenting duty. Even on holidays, I try to find time to sit down and write every single day, whether I want to or not.

When I was writing Bent life was good. I had to find time to read and write on top of taking care of a three year old who's home with me full-time and a seven year old who comes home with enough drama to fill a community theater group every day. From time to time, they'd complain that they wanted food or clean laundry and I'd have to think about those things too.

Now, my daughter comes home from school and asks me how many copies of my book I've sold and if we're rich yet. Seriously, I don't know where she gets it. I'm hoping she knows something I don't and the day comes when I can tell her that, yes, we are instantly wealthy. Then, we have to go over why I'm not letting her take my book to school for show and tell or reading circle time.

My son is the whip cracker around the house. If he sees me doing something like laundry or dishes, he tells me to go to work and pushes me towards the desk. Not that he's going to do the rest of the work, but he's starting to understand that mommy has to work and that it has to happen at the computer.

Being a full-time writer is honestly one of the hardest jobs I've ever taken on. It's also one of the most fulfilling, so I suppose that, for now, I'll read, write and let the kids keep leading me in the right direction!

And finally, the giveaway!  I have a signed paperback copy of Bent for one lucky reader!

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Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Amazon gift card is...

Marissa, the blogger behind For the Love of Film and Novels!  You should definitely go visit and follow her blog if you don't already!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cover Reveal (Again...I'm Sorry!): Faster We Burn by Chelsea C. Cameron

I know there have been a lot of cover reveals on the blog this week...they're all from authors I really wanted to support, and they all happened to come one after another!  I promise I'll have some different stuff on the blog next week!  Today's cover is for Faster We Burn, the sequel to Deeper We Fall by Chelsea C. Cameron.  The cover was designed by Okay Creations, and the reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours.  I love how both the cover and the title of this book play on and further develop the first installment!

Faster We Burn by Chelsea M. Cameron (Deeper We Fall #2)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication date: April, 2013
Blurb Teaser:

The last thing Katie Hallman needs is another guy in her life, but Stryker Grant is there anyway. What starts out as just an escape from her previous relationship disaster soon turns into something more. Stryker gets under her skin the way no one has before, and soon she realizes she can't shake him, even if she wanted to. But is Katie ready to trust her already-battered heart to the guy who could shatter it into a million pieces?

Chelsea M. Cameron 
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is. 

Author Links:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Drowning in You by Rebecca Berto

Indie author Rebecca Berto has been on my radar for a while. I've had her debut novella since before Christmas, and I SWEAR I'm going to get to it this month--if you're reading this, Rebecca, you can hold me to that! Anyway, I'm very excited to participate in the cover reveal of Rebecca's first full-length novel, Drowning in You, organized by AToMR Tours.

Title: Drowning in You
Author: Rebecca Berto
Expected release date: April 12, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.
When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.
But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences. 

About the Author

Rebecca Berto writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.
Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: Click to Subscribe by L.M. Augustine

I am so excited to be participating in the absolutely adorable cover reveal for CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE by L.M. Augustine!  The book sounds just as cute and fun as the cover, and there's a giveaway too, so be sure to read to the bottom of the post!

Click To Subscribe
Author: L.M. Augustine
Genre: YA romance
Release Date: April 2013
Designer: Allie Brennan (who is fantastic and brilliant and totally recommended by L.M.)

1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.
As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she'd have on.
To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.
Add it on Goodreads.


Some Things:
To celebrate the cover reveal… there is a giveaway! Note: ARCs won’t be ready until late March/early April, but if you win one, you will be the first to get it. (All of the winners will be emailed a day after the giveaway ends.)

For those of you interested in the book, check the author’s Facebook page and blog (links above) because he will be posting a number of excerpts of CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE throughout the week.

And to anyone reading this: thank you! Your support seriously means so much to me. (Me = the awkward author, L.M., who has raided this blog for the day. MUAHAHA!)

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Forty Days Giveaway!

I was shocked by how quickly both Amazon and Barnes & Noble processed my book, so while the official release date isn't till Tuesday, you can now grab FORTY DAYS at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  AND you can get it at the special release week price of .99, through Feb. 16th only.  AND you can enter this contest to win a 20.00 Amazon card to celebrate the release.  Yeah, that's a lot of ANDs!

So without further ado...

Here's the giveaway!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Guest Post with Jessica Bell: Using Colour to Accentuate Theme

Today I have a fascinating guest post with author Jessica Bell!  I also use a lot of symbolism in my writing, but I've never thought of my books as having a's something I'll have to consider in the future!  Rather you're a reader or a writer, this whole concept is super-intriguing and will make you add Jessica's books to your to-read pile...

So get reading!

by Jessica Bell

I like to use the symbolism of colour to strengthen a common theme(s) I want to explore in my writing. I am fascinated by symbolic references in the books I read too (even if they do not have anything to do with colour), and believe they bring a richness and depth to what we read, even if it is not immediately evident to us. So let me tell you a little bit about how I utilize the combination of colour and theme in my work.

For THE BOOK it was GREEN.
Green symbolizes self-respect, well-being,  learning and harmony. It suggests safety and endurance, lack of experience, growth and hope. THE BOOK is about a little girl named Bonnie who is thought to have learning difficulties, but really is quite the genius. Her insights into the adult world are astounding, as she tries to "make logic" of the behaviour of her mother, father and step father regarding a journal ("the book") that is turning their family upside down. Her constant attraction to the colour green was a way for me to explore her subconscious need for security, stability and her desire to learn.

Some examples of the way it is used:
You saw Father Christmas at the mall and sat on his lap. He asked you what you wanted for Christmas and you said you wanted green lebküchen! (lebküchen are a German buscuit)

Dr Wright: Mummy tells me you that you miss Daddy. Do you want to talk about it?
Bonnie: [scribbles on paper with green crayon]
Dr Wright: How come you don’t like any of the other colours, Bonnie?
Bonnie: Daddy said green is a colour of being safe.

Dr Wright: Do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?
Bonnie: No, I want to give medicine from a shop with a green cross.

Bonnie: [shifts in seat, pushes hair from forehead] Well, my Ted isn’t very smart because I tolded him to fix it so all the greens could be on the same side and he sat with me on the flying carpet, and I made us go up in the air, so there could be magic around us, so he could fix it for all the greens to be on the same side.

And you are a gift no man could ever buy. Two beautiful ladies, and two shining souls, through one set of radiant green eyes.

“Now, if you have a little patience, my dear, I can show you how to make some green. Do you have a little patience?” I nod. But I can’t tell if this is a Daddy type question or a my Ted type question. But it doesn’t matter. If Mrs Haydon can make me some green, then I can paint some trees.

Blue is associated with freedom, strength and new beginnings, optimism and better opportunities,  loyalty and faith, power and protection. No colour is better fitting for this story about a woman named Melody who has let her passion for music die for the sake of her family, but tries to bring it back into her life without it affecting those she loves. In String Bridge, blue things are always deteriorating, symbolizing the fact that Melody feels helpless, and that it's going to be struggle to "start again".

Some examples of the way it was used:
I stare at my bag’s wrinkly, flaking, blue-vinyl exterior. It looks how I feel. Old. Poorly constructed. Depressed. Cheap.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I say, scrubbing the stain from the only decent dress I own. Blue dye comes off on the sponge.

Her fingers rose through her inward sigh, hovered above the keys, searched them for the correct notes like Braille. She began to play Joni Mitchell’s  “Blue.”

I steal one of Alex’s Camels and grab a box of matches. Sit on the floor in the living room, up against the wall. I strike a match, let it burn half way down, watching the blue base of the flame crawl along the stick as if lured by oil—kerosene candy.

I have another novel that is not yet published, called BITTER LIKE ORANGE PEEL, where I use the colour and flavour of orange to symbolize the bitterness, distrust and sexual desire my protagonists feel. Again, orange crops up in all sorts of shapes and forms such as rotting oranges falling from a tree, orange-flavoured lip gloss, an orange vinyl couch, an orange mohair sweater, photos tinged orange over time, and an orange scrub cap ...

And my lastest work-in-progress, WHITE LADY, (which stands for the drug speed) I have already shown signs of utilizing the colour white to represent tainted purity and cold, sterile environments.

As you can see, there is quite a lot you can play around with in the colour department. If you check out this link, perhaps the meanings of different colours might inspire you too.

Do you like to use symbolism in your writing? Give me an example. Do you notice symbolism used in the books you read?

Want to connect with Jessica Bell? Learn more at the following links:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Books for a Buck Hop!

I am SO excited to be participating in the Books for a Buck hop along with so many talented authors.  I need to offer a huge thank you to author Nikki Jefford for organizing this, and now...excuse me, I have to get shopping!

Bestsellers * Award Winners * Hot New Releases

30 authors offering 35 titles at an amazing 99¢ price (limited time offers)

Savor the Savings

Titles by Category:

Young Adult
Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent (romance/verse)
Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton (paranormal)
Seen by Heather Sutherlin (fantasy)
Sally Singletary's Curiosity by JM Cataffo (fantasy/mystery)
Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry (contemporary)
Duplicity (Spellbound #2) * 1st book NOW FREE! * by Nikki Jefford

New Adult/Upper Teen: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Treason (Grimoire Saga #2) * 1st book NOW FREE! * by S. M. Boyce
The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear by M. Pax
ReVamped by Ada Adams
Troll Or Derby, a Fairy Wicked Tale by Red Tash
Neverlove by Angela Brown
Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Vaempires: Revolution and Vaempires: Zombie Rising by Thomas Winship
What Kills Me by Wynne Channing
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

New Adult/Upper Teen: Contemporary Romance
Preservation (Preservation, #1) by Rachael Wade
The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder
Make It Last by Bethany Lopez
My Paper Heart by Magan Vernon

Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Horror
Day of Sacrifice Omnibus by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Fall for Me by K. A. Last
The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton
Reunion by Jeff Bennington
Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2) * 1st book FREE! * by Karina Halle
Guardian Of Fate by L.J. Kentowski
Ember's Curse by Gena D. Lutz
FEARLESS by Tawdra Kandle

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion
To Ride a Puca by Heather McCorkle

Contemporary Romance and Chick Lit
The Reunion by Elizabeth Aloe
The Game Changer by Marie Landry
Broken and Mending by J.B. McGee

See full hop list with book covers at Shop the Hop.