Friday, May 10, 2013
So a friend of mine, Kelly Jameson, was trolling through the Doylestown Bookshop the other day. She saw my YA novel, "Traffic Jam" sitting on a shelf, just a book away from John Grisham, snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook! I've been squealing in excitement ever since! Truly awesome! Thanks, Kelly!!!
Friday, May 3, 2013
Hey guys! I'm happy to announce that my blog is just but one awesome stop along Jennifer Murgia's Between the Lines blog tour! Check out the tour banner below:
Pretty sweet, huh? I'm totally digging this cover, especially that curl of smoke along the left-hand side. I've had the honor and privilege of meeting Jennifer at the 2012 YAFest in Easton, Pennsylvania last year and I have to say that not only is she a truly gifted writer but she's a geniunely awesome person. And you want to know just how awesome? Check out this prize pack you can win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It's a pretty kick-ass deal, folks---you could win a necklace, a free ebook, plus a collection of Sylvia Plath's poems! So come on in and have some fun!
Hey wait a second---here's Jennifer now, stopping in to say hello and to talk about the people who touch our lives:
I’ve met a number of people on my journey as an author. Authors,
bloggers, readers, librarians . . . it’s a long list, especially when I
start counting the characters in my books because, as funny as it
sounds, those characters have made a huge impact on my life. Some are
sweet and tender. Some are less than desirable. They mimic life -- have
personalities, quirks, problems, and are sometimes more human than the
people I know in reality. I’ve shaped them and molded them and given
them dimension. I can control who they meet, who they love, lose, speak
to . . . I just never expected how much they would shape me.
And while I can’t always control my own existence, I’m pretty darn lucky
to cross paths with some remarkable people – my publishers, my agent, my
Playlist Fiction sisters, my author friends. We come together like
pieces in a puzzle. We cross paths and connect (and yes, I’m shouting
out to Melissa here on her blog! I had the pleasure of meeting her at
YAFest 2012 and hope to see her again!)
We meet people for reasons unbeknownst to us, sometimes for a fleeting
moment, for a day, or for a year or two. They can be real. They can be
fictitious, but one thing is certain – real or not, that impact can last
Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! Always a pleasure and best of luck to you!
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I know I’m really putting myself on the chopping block here by stating a rather unpopular, unheard-of opinion about the much-loved, much-drooled-over celebrity that is Johnny Depp. But before you start sending me hate mail or I-wish-you-would-die messages, please keep in mind, Depp-heads, that this is only my opinion.
Now I’m very aware that I’m one of the few who fail to see what’s so great about Mr. Depp. I’m pretty sure I’ve been of this two percentile for quite some time but was never able to put my finger on why.
Please refer to the photos above.
On the left, we have a black-and-white image of Brent Smith, the lead singer to Shinedown. In the photo on the right, we have an image of aforementioned actor, Johnny Depp.
By now I think you can guess which one I would pick to have a beer with.
Before you start lobbing your shoes at me, allow me to explain…that is, if you’re still reading this post instead of closing it in disgust, muttering, “Girl’s flat-out, out of her mind,” I would like to draw your attention to three categories in which comparisons can be made between these two gentlemen. Now I realize, one’s a singer and one’s an actor. They both travel in different circles, they’re involved in different things but I just want to emphasize the point that there are truly more awesome, humble people out there than Johnny. So let’s begin, shall we?
First category: looks.
There is no contest here. Brent is H-O-T even with the nose ring. Perhaps it’s the strong jawline covered in stubble, the tattoos (yes, there are quite a few them) or the deep, hooded eyes that are, if you’re curious, a mix of gray and blue. Simply put—he has that careless way of putting himself together without even trying. I get the feeling Depp on the other hand (hang on a minute while I get my shoe-blocking shield) tries way too hard. Did you see him on Letterman the other week? I was so busy counting the scarves that were hanging off him that I couldn't pay attention to what he was actually saying. It was just layers and layers of stuff---shirts, jewelry, and those damn scarves. And let’s not forget the hat. You could easily walk by him on the street and mistake him for a homeless person. I mean, how much money does this guy make? Is he really telling the world that he doesn’t care? Or that he’s too lazy to care? Or that he just takes himself waaaaay too seriously? You be the judge because I have a feeling that not many of you are enjoying my judgment right now.
Second category: Professions.
Okay, yeah, they’re both in different professions. But Depp has been known to get on stage and “rock out” with the likes of The Black Keys and Aerosmith. A pretty stiff rock-out but a rock-out all the same. Hell, if it wasn’t for the hat, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between him and Steven Tyler. It’s pretty obvious that music is not his first passion. Acting is, so he might need to stick to what he knows best. Brent knows exactly where he belongs---on-stage, belting out relentless, hard-driving music that’s both powerful and haunting. I can only hope that he doesn’t get bitten by the acting bug. I find it extremely aggravating when musicians try to be actors and actors try to be musicians. I mean, really, have you ever seen Mariah Carey in Glitter?
I thought so. I rest my case.
Third and last category: interviews.
From the word go, Brent knows how to say something real. He knows where he’s at, what he’s doing and you feel like he actually gives a s***. Maybe it’s from his years of being addicted to drugs and alcohol. Maybe it’s from the hard work it takes to stay clean. Or maybe he simply appreciates what he’s been given. It’s a long road and you need to make the best of it. From Depp, I get the feeling that he works hard at not giving a s***. He looks for the right, smart-sounding words in his interviews that will make him sound, well, smart. He’s the ultimate artist, isn’t he? Looking like he doesn’t care about his appearance, sounding like he doesn’t care about his success and how he got there. He even lives like he doesn’t care, out in France, away from the “Hollywood-ness” of it all. But he doesn’t mind taking the Hollywood money, does he?
I think the point of this post is that Depp simply annoys me. He’s given such opportunity, such choices and he just doesn’t seem to care about any of it. Brent Smith and the boys of Shinedown seem to be the exact opposite, giving their fans their all at every concert, every appearance and there’s Johnny Depp, slouching around in the background, smoking clove cigarettes, draped in scarves, trying to be Mr. Anti-Hollywood and complaining that having his picture taken is “like being raped.”
Spare me the over-sensitive actor, please. I prefer someone a little bit more appreciative for what he has.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
A book review of Manipulating the List
Wow, am I ever late with this review! People, I can only apologize for my tardiness. Life has been on the warpath, keeping me in its crosshairs with no hope of coming up for air.
So, we have K.B. Lever’s novel, Manipulating the List. It was given to me in exchange for an honest review and away we go…
Let me start off by saying that even if I hadn’t been given this book to review, I would’ve picked it up anyway by the cover alone. There’s something haunting about those blue eyes, something that prompts you to turn the pages, to find out what list, who’s manipulating who or what and why. Unfortunately, however, beyond that, I didn’t find much to keep me anchored to the story.
It’s not that I didn’t like it—it’s a unique one---a young woman named Katherine Sheppard befriending Death as a child, not really understanding it until she’s older, kind of like having a mobster for a parent. But the writing didn’t seem consistent. There were a lot of repetitive sentences. The jump in age for our female protagonist was so abrupt that I felt like I’d missed something and I couldn’t really develop a feel for her. In fact, as the story went on, I found myself not liking her more and more. Even when she finds out who Death is and how he works, she doesn’t seem to take it very seriously. It becomes a game that she plays rather selfishly.
There’s a lot more focus on the characters Death is collecting rather than the story itself and its heroine—if that’s what you can even call her. I actually found myself liking those people more than Katherine. They had more dimension, more depth to them. They were likeable and you felt bad for them for reasons I won’t say in case any of you want to read it.
Overall, I give this book two and a half stars out of five. In most cases, Lever’s writing flows nicely and it’s so obvious that she has talent. But the book needs some editing to deal with those repetitive phrases and also to flesh out the main character. Secondary characters should never be more interesting than the main one.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Okay, I think it's a little late to be jumping on this bandwagon but sweet holy Jesus, I only just found out that 50 Shades was actually a piece of fan-fiction starring Bella and Edward of Twilight! And here I was thinking the majority of participants on this bandwagon—critics, readers and authors alike—were only here because both trilogies were so badly written! (Although I’m sure that’s a big part of the reason too!)
Yet for all the horrifying awfulness of these books, not one person can see any possible, sane, intelligent-sounding reason as to how or why the 50 Shades trilogy had the stamina, talent or weight to get published by a big-name publishing house.
Now, you may say to me, “Dearest Melissa, the quest to find this reason has been going on for quite some time. We really don’t think one more 50 Shades hater is really going to make that much of a difference.”
To which I say, fear not. I’m not here to hate or offer any hope, reasons or explanations. My current purpose is to find out who is to blame for this travesty and yes, it is a travesty. The publication of 50 Shades has brought the world of writing down to a whole new level and no, I’m not talking about the sex. Sex sells. Everyone knows that. What I’m talking about is the quality of the work itself. The quality of the writing, the flow of the story, the words, the plot, everything that goes in to the telling of a good story---where is it and who do we blame because honestly?
These books are awful.
I know publishing companies are struggling in the face of the ebook explosion and the do-it-yourself publishing programs but does that mean the books they do receive no longer need to be above par? Are these companies so desperate that they’re willing to put anything into print even if the work doesn’t meet their standards? Are they telling future writers that they too can write crap? That all they have to do is take an already-published story, change a few things around to make it their own then submit it for millions and fame?
The connection between 50 Shades and Twilight is unmistakable. It’s simply unbelievable and unfair that one author could so blatantly build upon the success of another. I suppose the term “solid work ethic” need not apply here.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
I am so excited! The Doylestown Bookshop is now carrying copies of my YA novel, TRAFFIC JAM! This bookstore is located smack-dab in the center of downtown Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in the midst of boutiques, spas, jewelry stores, restaurants and the one and only: Starbucks. It's a great town to visit; awesome vibes, lots of shopping and of course, books! So if you're in the Montgomeryville, PA area or Bucks County or hey, even Berks County, stop on by the Doylestown Bookshop and get your copy today! It's actually sitting ON A SHELF!
Among other books!
In a bookstore!
Introducing our winner to the TRAFFIC JAM GIVEAWAY!
Special thanks go to Tessa Stokes for putting this giveaway together!
You can check out her blog here: http://tess-three-in-the-morning.blogspot.com/
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Thanks to everyone who participated!