To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.
If you are
not familiar with StringBridge,
check out the book trailer:
Rave Reviews for String Bridge:
“Jessica Bell’s STRINGBRIDGE 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 StringBridgeis 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
Last year I posted about how much I loved Nightshade City. This year, well, I'm super excited to be part of Hilary Wagner's blog tour for The White Assassin.
Here are the details:
Book II in the Nightshade Chronicles begins three years after Juniper and his rebel band of rats liberate the Catacombs and defeat their oppressors.
A sense of peace has settled over Nightshade City, but it is a false one. Billycan, the white assassin, has been found. Deep in the southern swamps, he now rules a primitive horde of savage swamp rats eager to overrun Nightshade City and claim it for their king. With the help of an ancient colony of bats and an uneasy alliance with the swamp snakes, Juniper and his Council set out to thwart Billycan’s plans. When an old secret is revealed—one so shocking it shakes both Billycan and Juniper to the core—the fate of Nightshade City and the life of Juniper’s only son depend on Juniper’s decision: should he help his mortal enemy? The past resurfaces with devastating impact in this exciting sequel to Nightshade City, a dark tale of intrigue, deception, and betrayal.
Nightshade City, Book I of the Nightshade Chronicles is a CBC Best Book of 2011 and a Crystal Kite finalist.
My internet connection has not been my friend the last few days (so my blog commenting may be sporadic), but I wanted to make sure I reminded everyone that Today is the day ofAlexand Matt's Pay It Forward Blogfest.
How does it work?: The idea is to introduce everyone to everyone else. An easy post that allows you to meet and follow as many other bloggers as you can. All you do is list, describe, and link to three blogs that you enjoy reading, but that you suspect may fly under the radar of a lot of other bloggers. Or they can be famous blogs... as long as they're awesome. Then you can visit and follow all the blogs in people's posts the day of the blogfest. Or you can visit everyone who enters in on the fun, and signs up on the linky list. You don't have to leave a comment. You can just follow, and come back another time. Easy, right?
Was there a book that debuted this year that you read and LOVED? The awesome Christina Lee started this Kick A** 2011 Debut Author Spotlight to celebrate just that. I've loved a lot of fabulous books this year, but my focus today is on Department 19 by Will Hill.
What's it about?:
Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond—from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it's packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.
This isn't a sparkly Twilight vampire book. I enjoy a sparkly vampire tale as much as the next girl, but this book returns to the traditional vampire. These vampires have fangs. They can be killed by a stake and sunlight. They aren't vegetarian. And some of them are out for world domination. Jamie is thrown into the middle of this world trying to save his mother, learn more about the mysterious Department 19 and try to stay alive. Typical day really. This is 540 pages of wonderful reading. Now I just need to wait for book 2...
Want to know more? Check out the Department 19 website here. Will Hill also blogs: Blog
I got tagged. It didn't hurt, but lovely Amparo tagged me with a random fact post in August. I've had a think about which parts of my oddness to post. Now it's time to let my freak flag fly!
Here are 10 random facts about me:
1) When I eat M&M's (or any individual candy), I can only eat an even number. I know it's weird (and kind of OCD). I don't know why I do it. I just do. I also can't stand closing a book if I haven't reached the end of the chapter.
2) I sprained my ankle while I was making soup. Yep, I'm that clumsy!
3) I have a bit of an obsession with finding the perfect writing pen. So far, I like this type from Staedtler:
4) Like Amparo, I've got all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons on DVD. I also have all five seasons of Supernatural ( and I'm watching 6 on TV now!).
5) I play acoustic guitar.
6) I can't tell jokes. Seriously, I'm rubbish.
7) I split my knee open when I was fourteen. The scar looks like a smile.
8) I can't watch the movie Labyrinth. I saw it once when I was seven and got so freaked out that I haven't watched it since. I really did think The Goblin King would come steal my brother. *shudders*
Also, Operation Awesome have another fabulous Mystery Agent contest on the 1st of October. This one isn't a one-line pitch contest. Your pitch can be 2-4 sentences long. There will be 50 places available, and the winner gets a 50-page partial request.
Here are the details:
Single Title Romance
- all subgenres in the 100,000 word range
- no inspirational
Young Adult and Middle Grade
- all subgenres
Fantasy and Science Fiction
- all subgenres
- for Adult or Young Adult readers
- including women's fiction, chick lit, historical fiction and high concept mainstream commercial fiction.
Some things happened. Everything is okay now, but I was called away from blogging, writing and reading. I'll be making my way around the blogosphere, but I might be playing catch up over the next few days. But, for now, I leave you with this:
How does it work?:All you do is come dressed as that one person you've always admired, longed to impersonate, or just plain envied. All you need to do is post a photo of your chosen one (dead or alive) along with an explanation why you've picked that person. Easy, right?
Who would I be? I'd be Katharine Hepburn.
Why? Hepburn was a woman who never gave up on her dream. Or sacrificed her principles to please others. Despite her early success, her brash personality and unconventional behaviour initially turned audiences away. But she masterminded her own comeback, buying the film rights to The Philadelphia Story and sold them on the condition she was to be the star. She went on to become one of the most acclaimed actresses in the world by determination, hard work and talent.
Hepburn reminds me never to give up on my dreams. We can all control our own destiny if we work hard enough.
"The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated."
I've crawled out of my writing cave to remind everyone that WriteOnCon starts tomorrow!
I've issued a warning to the family that, unless it's an emergency (or Alexander Skarsgard happens to be in our backyard) I'm not to be interrupted if I'm on my laptop. Although this doesn't apply to my CP's of awesome/blogging friends. I'm pretty sure we'll all be in the same place for the next three days!
This year there are Ninja Agents stalking the forums. Here are the details:
This program will take place in the forums–so you must be registered and using the forums to participate. If you haven’t already done that, go HERE.
Here’s what you’ll do:
1. Post your absolute best, polished query letter or writing sample in the appropriate critique threads in the forums. (Please look carefully and ask questions if you’re unsure about where to post, and make sure you follow all our forum guidelines)
2. Don your thick dragon skin, cross your fingers, and keep checking your forum posts, because our Ninja Agents will be sneaking around, leaving feedback on whatever strikes their fancy–which could very well be YOUR QUERY.
3. Pray you’ve perfected your work enough to generate a request. Some agents may be requesting from the posts they read.
4. Remember your manners. Please don’t engage in hurtful behavior toward an industry professional because of feedback they might leave on your query. Remember, publishing is SO SUBJECTIVE.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. All you have to do is use our forums the same way you should be using them anyway (because they’re AWESOME) and you could have a super-cool Ninja-Agent critique your work. And even if they don’t comment on your work (they promise they will try to comment/critique on as many as they can) you can learn SO much from the comments they leave for others.
So how do you know when to look for them?
Watch the @WriteOnCon twitter feed for when we tweet: “A Ninja Agent just entered the forums!” That’s how you’ll know exactly when they’re there. But really, the best part about the forum is that you can go read the feedback whenever your schedule allows.
What the Ninjas will do:
1. Each Ninja Agent will be in the forum for at least one hour (some have multiple slots). You won’t know who, and you won’t know when…that’s the beauty of a ninja. They strike when you’re least expecting it.
2. Ninja Agents have been encouraged to leave feedback—as detailed or as vague as they want—on as many queries as they can. They can also request from the queries they read.
The Ninja-Agent Program is open for business starting on Monday, August 15, one day before the conference begins. That’s when we’ll open the main conference forums and let you start posting your work. This will give you time to get your writing in tip-top shape and in the forums before Tuesday, when our first Ninja will arrive.
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the thing inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch.
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.
I was also lucky enough to read Twisted Velvet Chains in May. And, thanks to the lovely Jessica Bell, I got this in the mail last week:
Twisted Velvet Chains is a collection of poems which follows the experiences of one woman growing up with a bipolar, drug addicted, gothic musician mother. Each poem represents specific moments of their life that embrace vivid rich imagery, and illustrate the turmoil of emotions both experience while together. The collection is divided into four parts that flow one into the other from childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and post-death.
Huge thanks to Jessica.
How about you? What books are on your TBR pile this week?
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
I'm so excited to read Possession (and I know it's awesome because 3 of my CP's have already read/raved about it). It kind of makes me want to do this:
Sometimes you don't need to meet a person to know they are special. Sometimes you just need to read a few heartfelt words. An email from Lenny can make me smile whatever it says. But the best word of all? Hugs.
Because you don't need to see someone to hug them. Sometimes the thought, the word itself, is just as powerful.
So I'm doing my (small) bit to send you a virtual hug today, Lenny.
Why is Lenny so special? Head over to his blog and find out.
A new month brings the possible glow of new projects to start. Old projects to finish. A summer eating ice-cream and enjoying lazy days in the park. Oh, yeah, I just remembered that we're also one step closer to the release of Harry Potter Part 2.
Sorry, I had to have dancing Dumbledore again. He makes me laugh.
Anyway, I bring you a contest to start the month (courtesy of Operation Awesome): We're Giving Away Critiques... Want one? . And you can win me. Well, not me personally, but I'm giving a query critique away.
And a huge *fist pump* for my awesome friend and CP, Amparo. Amparo finished the first year of her Masters degree yesterday.
I don't know about you, but today I've got some planning to finish for my WIP. What about you? Any goals for this month? Are you starting a SNI?
1) The awesome Jessica Bell will guest posting over on Operation Awesome on Wednesday. Her fantastic poetry collection, TWISTED VELVET CHAINS, is available now from here.
2) Tangled is released here in the UK today. I think I'm the only person who hasn't seen the movie yet. Can't. Wait.
3) Afterglow book reviews are gearing up for an epic summer contest. The prize? BOOKS!
Here are the goodies up for grabs:
Now is the time for running by Michael Williams
Lost Saint by Bree Despain – ARC
The Gift by James Patterson – ARC
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare – UK Copy
The Marbury Lens – ARC
Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski – SIGNED COPY
Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn’t have) by Sarah Mlynowski – ARC
Vanish by Sophie Jordan – ARC & SIGNED COPY
What Happened to Good-bye by Sarah Dessen – PERSONALIZED SIGNED COPY
*NOTE – For the personalized copy of the Sarah Dessen novel it will be shipped later than the others. She is in Houston on June 17th but will be mailed directly after the signing.
Every copy is up for grabs! That means on June 10th when the contest results are announced there will be NINE winners!
So how do you win?
First you will need to be in the US. I apologize for all of those who live out of the country. We will have a giveaway courtesy of The Book Depository in the coming months that I’ll make sure is international!