Special Guest Author---Liv Rancourt!

Hey gang! I've been given the honor and absolute privilege of having awesome author, Liv Rancourt, on my blog today! Not only is she a fellow author but she's also a fellow music-lover--check out her post below:

Confessions of a SongPop Addict…

Thanks, Melissa, for giving me a chance to make a guest appearance on your blog. I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with your readers.
As I was scrolling through some of your older posts, I noticed that you occasionally write about music, specifically, rock n’ roll. I’m a pretty big music fan, too. In fact, one of my recent blog posts was a compilation of several of my fave Halloween tunes. I will confess, though, that I’d have a difficult time of it if you made me pick my favorite kind of music. I like them all!
Well, most of them, anyway. Which probably explains why I’m such an incredible SongPop addict. Do you know what SongPop is? It’s one of those Facebook games that annoying people send you invites to, sorta like Farmville or WordsWithFriends. The difference is, SongPop is actually fun.
It’s like Name That Tune, except you challenge your opponents one-on-one, trying to score points. The key is to have a fast trigger finger and an encyclopedic knowledge of music.
Yeah, well, I’m not sure I qualify as “encyclopedic”, but I can handle most any category you throw at me, and half the fun is scoring enough points to buy new categories. I have Jazz, Blues, New Wave, Punk Rock, and nine or ten others. Today’s acquisition: Musicals!
So if you’ve got some time to kill and think you know a little about music, look me up on Facebook and send me a SongPop challenge. I’m always up for a game! 
In the meantime, keep reading for a short excerpt from my newest release, The Santa Drag. It’s a chick-lit short story with a twist, and of course, a happy ending.

Things aren’t always what they seem, and this shopping mall Santa has secrets only her true love can reveal.

On a particularly busy Saturday, I was tired and thinking more about a double shot of espresso than I was about the pile of kids who wanted to sit in my lap. The weak winter sun was making its circle over the atrium where the Christmas Village was set up, and my roommate Shauna was buzzing by every so often to giggle at me from the sidelines. She was trying to get all of her Christmas shopping done in one day, which was a good trick for someone with as many fertile brothers and sisters as she had.
“Come sit on Santa’s lap.” Maya, the photographer and kid-wrangler, invited the next kid in line approach my golden throne. Well, it was fake gold, but the kids didn’t know that.
“No,” said a little girl with a stubborn crease between her brows. She was dressed in Seattle’s version of Christmas formal, a stiff, red velvet dress, likely made from organic fabric dyed with beets and rose hips. On her feet were two-toned leather MaryJanes that probably cost sixty-five dollars. At least the green corkscrew ribbons tied around her blond pigtails looked like they belonged on a child. I made myself as approachable as possible, getting down to her level and producing a big smile.
“Come on, Thula,” her mother said, tapping one French manicured nail on her cell phone. “Go sit up there with Santa so we can take your picture.” She sounded as if this was just one more thing to knock off the list.
“It’s okay, sweetie.” Maya put on her encouraging smile. Maya was a tiny thing, barely bigger than most of the kids we saw, with long dark hair, a tiny gold hoop pierced through one nostril, and bugged-out eyes that looked like they’d been molded out of chocolate. She was non-threatening as an adult could possibly be. The kid stared at her and bit down on her bottom lip. At least she wasn’t crying. Yet.
 “You want to come tell Santa what to bring you for Christmas?” I kept my voice pitched down somewhere under my sternum. It helped that I had one of those raspy lady voices that earned me a permanent spot in the tenor section whenever I sang in choir.
Sometimes less is more when you’re dealing with preschoolers. We went back and forth for several minutes until  the kid went from biting her bottom lip to letting it pooch out and tremble. Never a good sign. Finally, after a ton of coaxing, she was more-or-less close to me,  squatting down on the other side of one of the big pretend presents that ringed my throne. That was good enough for her mom, and Maya snapped a picture.
When she was done, the little girl glared at me from behind the big, glossy red ribbon that topped the present. “Bring me a baby brother,” she bellowed and took off running..
Mom’s glare was meaner than the kid’s had been. Hey, it’s not like I made any promises.
The kid ran full tilt past the pseudo-Tyrolean houses that made the Village, and out through the crowds of shoppers. She stopped in the middle of an open space and cut loose, her sobs echoing around the smoky glass dome that covered us. We could hear her carrying on until she and her mom got swallowed up by the Ross store at the end of the north hallway. The whole place fell into a bit of a hush when she was gone, as  everyone exhaled in relief. This close to Christmas, none of us needed a crying child to ratchet up the stress level.
A young mother was next in line. She came into the Christmas Village and positioned a slightly damp baby on my lap, moving as if something hurt. The baby was so young that Mom still looked a little pregnant under her loose denim-blue shirt. Or maybe she was already pregnant with number two. I’m not so good with the principles of baby production. Well, I understand the basic concepts, but haven’t had that many opportunities to put them into practice.
The brief quiet was interrupted by a yodeling squeal that I recognized. I stared into the crowd until I caught Maya looking at me funny. I stuck on a smile as close to my normal, jolly-Santa shtick as I could get, and she settled back down behind her camera. The reason for my roommate Shauna’s squeal had me completely rattled. In the two or three beats I’d looked out from behind my wire-rimmed glasses as Mack-the-girl, I’d seen Shauna giving someone a big hug. A really handsome someone. Joe McBride. Joseph Timothy McBride. The actor. The real-life, got a soap opera gig and several commercials and you saw him in Scream 2 actor. The only guy I ever really loved.

Ooh, now she’s got a problem! Will Mack turn all Creepy-Kringle? Will Joe recognize her? What’s a Santa to do?  ;)

The Santa Drag is available from Still Moments Publishing, Smashwords, and Amazon.

Obsession at the moment....


So it's been quite a number of years since the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip ceased productions, which, I have to say, was a very sad time. Not a day had gone by when I didn't flip open the newspaper to find out what kind of trouble Calvin was getting into at school or at the dinner table or just how far his sneakers would fly off his feet when Hobbes pounced on him, stealthy stuffed tiger that he is. But I have to say that the above picture, one that I do not own in any way, shape or form, comdensed my absolute love for that comic strip and my most recent obsession with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
I find it somewhat disheartening that being from New Jersey that I'm only now just discovering how awesome the Boss is and how passionate he is with his music, with his views of the world and how at being in his sixties, he's still sexy as hell and can still put on one hell of a show.
I think my next mission in life, aside from cranking out another book, is to attend a Springsteen concert---just to be able to exist in the midst of all that energy, just to be able to listen, to stand against the massive wall of sound and let that gravelly voice pound at my eardrums and skate down my spine to my toes.
A Springsteen concert.
That's a fabulous idea.
And guess what I'm listening to right now on my iPod: "I'm On Fire."


Next Stop on the Traffic Jam Blog Tour.....

So here's an interesting question: if Traffic Jam was made into a movie, who would play these characters? Who could play the strong-willed Sam? Or the awkward, Val who doesn't even know she has balls of steel until she's required to use them? Or how about the quiet but selfless John? And of course, the master of puppets and evil, Ed? Who indeed?
Check out this link and see if what I've imagined matches what YOU have seen in your head when you read Traffic Jam! http://littlepocketbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/book-in-spotlight-giveaway-traffic-jam.html#more

Let me know what you think!

Profile of Val Delton!

Hey troops! Check out this link: http://readinglittlebitofeverything.blogspot.co.uk/
It's a character profile of Val Delton, my main character from my YA novel, Traffic Jam! It's hilarious, trying to think like a teenager again!
The third stop of the blog tour is under way!

Collingswood Book Festival is Here!

So what's everyone doing this Saturday, October 6? Really? No plans? Well then come on down to the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood NJ! Fun will be had by all! There will be books, food, games and more books and it's outside! Plus the weather is going to be gorgeous! Books? Outside? Food? Is there anything else that sounds more awesome than that???
I will be at booth 112 signing copies of my YA novel, Traffic Jam so stop on by and say hi! Hope to see you there!

Second Stop on the Traffic Jam Blog Tour!

Here we are at the next stop on the Traffic Jam blog tour! Grab your friends! Grab a drink! Put your feet and leave a comment! Drinks on me! Check out my interview here: http://we-do-write.blogspot.co.uk/


For all you music lovers out there.....

In our current times when it seems like all music sounds exactly the same, there is always....ROCK.

Another Blog Tour, You Say????

Hello, good people! Traffic Jam is off and running on another blog tour, hosted by the always-awesome Megan McDade! This is so exciting and why, you ask? Because it just is! Who wouldn't want to see their stuff get promoted by kick-a** people? So put up your feet and sip some tea as we kick off the excitement that is TRAFFIC JAM!
Check out the first stop here: http://thecoverbybrittany.blogspot.co.uk/