Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday at the Ball

Hi, y'all!

Hope all of you who celebrate had a lovely Thanksgiving, full of delicious things to eat and drink. I know I did. *groan* I'm still full.

Anyway, this being Friday, I'm over at The Debutante Ball. NOT out shopping in the Black Friday madness, which is yet another point of gratitude in my life.

Drop by the Ball (just clicky-clicky the link upstream) and say hi if you get a chance. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Batter Up!

It's Friday -- time to play Ball!

Okay, that's my dorky way of saying I'm over at The Debutante Ball today. (That's right. My blogging break doesn't include the Ball. No real rest for the wicked. *grin*)

Anyway, this week we're talking about when family and friends read our books. IOW, scary stuff!

If you have a minute, please stop by and weigh in on how you feel about your family and/or friends reading your work. Or, yannoh, just say hi. I like it when you do that. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm not really here, so let's rub some bellies!

I'm still playing with my imaginary people. I figure as long as everyone else in busy "NaNo-ing," I can keep "NotNo-ing."

But since you were nice enough to stop by today, here's a picture of my daughter's cat:

Doesn't she look comfy? Yes, she does like to have her belly rubbed.


But not always. It's a crapshoot, really, and God help your hand if you gauge her mood poorly.

Do you have a cat? Or a dog? Possibly a ferret or a bird? Rabbit? Do they like to have their bellies rubbed?

Do you like to have your belly rubbed? 

 ( that too personal? Should I not have asked that? Feel free to reprimand me in the comments.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's the Rush?

[I know I'm officially on a blog break right now, but I had previously promised to help Jessica with her Amazon Chart Rush today, so I scheduled this. If it looks like something you'd enjoy reading, today would be a great time to buy it. No pressure. *grin* Oh, and if you still want a Linda fix, I'm over at The Debutante Ball today, blogging about glögg and pink hair. Stop by if you get a chance.

Today is THE day to help Jessica Bell's debut, STRING BRIDGE, hit
the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrack
Melody Hill: On the Other Sidewritten and performed by the author herself, for free!

All you have to do is purchase the book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and then email the receipt to:


She will then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperback:

To purchase the eBook:

To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

If you are
not familiar with String Bridge,
check out the book trailer:

Rave Reviews for String Bridge:

Jessica Bell’s STRING BRIDGE 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 String Bridge is 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

Please TWEET and/or FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!

Hope you all have a great weekend. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Getting a Real Charge Out of This...

So, I'm thinking November is the ideal time to take a break from my regular blogging schedule, what with everyone being so caught up in the whole NaNoWriMo thing. Heck, I figure y'all will appreciate the break from me.

Plus, I'll get to recharge the ol' blogging batteries.

I have a few special posts lined up, and I may pop in randomly from time to time.

AND  I'll still be at The Debutante Ball every Friday, so don't think you're getting off scot-free. *grin*

The thing is, social networking, while all kinds of fun, takes a huge chunk of time. I've been neglecting my fictional world. I miss getting lost in it.

You'll still be seeing me around. Just not quite as much here for a while.

What about you guys? Do you ever take a break? Or do you power through, come hell or high water?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fearsome Friday!

What are you afraid of?

We're discussing writing fears over at the Debutante Ball this week. I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Come on over and 'fess to your biggest -- or littlest -- fears!

Happy Friday! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Special Hump Day Guest Interview with Lynne Sears Williams, Author of THE COMRADES

Welcome to a special medieval edition of Hump Day.

Today I'm interviewing a friend of mine, Lynne Sears Williams. Lynne and I go way back. Waaay back. Not quite to medieval times, but close enough. We hung together over at the Compuserve Books and Writers Community back in the proverbial Day, and often critiqued each other's work. I'd read chapters of The Comrades, and she'd read chapters of my drawer novel, Catspaw. (Not sure you you'll ever see Catspaw. It needs to marinate in the drawer a little longer. Maybe forever.) And then we'd tell each other what worked and what sucked.

Frankly, the only thing that ever sucked about The Comrades was how long it took Lynne to finish writing it. I'm not known for my *cough* patience when it comes to reading stuff I love.

A little about Lynne in her own words:

I was born on a street that had only ten houses; four kids went to law school. Clearly, the water was contaminated. 
In my 2nd year of law school, I saw the school 'playboy' carrying a large fantasy novel. I made certain my wedding ring flashed protective bolts of lightning, then spoke with him. How did he find time for 'free reading?' "If I didn't read something that wasn't law, I'd lose my mind." Color me amazed, he had a point that didn't include hitting on me! When I got home, I picked up the first book I saw (Tolkien) read for a while, then fell asleep. 

I was promptly transported into a dream where there was a great-looking guy and a beautiful woman, with cold wind blowing in from an ocean. As the days went by, each time I closed my eyes, it was like watching a movie as the characters became real. Evan was a king, the woman's name was Morleyna and I *knew* a grudge separated the two kingdoms. (Later, as I researched, I discovered the latter fact was true.) 

I gave up trying to understand the Tort Contract Matrix during an honors lecture. On the page where I was supposed to write Brilliant Notes, I decided to draw a map of the country I'd seen. A mountain range *here* a different kingdom *there* and when I got home, I opened an encyclopedia. I'd drawn a map of Wales. A laptop appeared and a story was born. 

I worked as a freelance journalist for the Canadian and American Medical Association's Journals. Canadian law professor J. Chris Levy and I co-authored a legal article published by The Alberta Law Review. I finished my law degree at the University of Madison, Wisconsin and interned at Districts 4's Madison Court of Appeal for my final semester. Then I began to specialize; Wales in the 9th Century had a *different* code of laws. I began to write The Comrades, a story about love, war and mysticism. 

My thanks to everyone who helped a journalist become an author, with particular gratitude to a playboy who started it all. 

I can't tell you how long I've waited for Lynne to finish this book, just so I could see what freakin' happened. (I can't tell you, because she might kill me. Let's just leave it at "a while.") I totally fell in love with her Welshmen. Her hero, Evan, naturally. He's totally swoon-worthy. But mostly his cousin Gareth, naughty, naughty Gareth. *sighs dreamily*

Anyway, Lynne has agreed to be interviewed here on my humble blog.

1. Why Wales? And why the 8th century?

I didn't choose the country. The characters abducted me at knife point, tossed a laptop at me and said "Write!"  After I began seeing characters as if I was watching a movie, I decided to go along with it. The 8th Century gave me access to other notable people; Charlemagne, Kenneth MacAlpin, the first king of Scotland, and King Alfred the Great of England. It also provided Celtic law, Danes and Vikings.

2. Why did you change the title from your working title of POWYS? Were you afraid potential readers wouldn't know what a "Powys" was?

Exactly right!

[Hint from Linda: Powys is a place, not a thing.]

3. Morleyna seems to be to a creature of dichotomies. Innocence/worldly wisdom, biddable/rebellious, timidly nonthreatening/scarily intimidating. Intentional, or did she just spring forth that way?

I had no control over her at all, which is confirmed by most of the other characters. 

4. I love the character "Aunt." Did you base her on anyone in your real life?

Aunt is who she is. Sometimes she's sweet and very kind but she can be as mean as a dragon. I like the way she reacts to everything, whether telling her nephew that he should dry his hair after a rainstorm or wading into an argument in the courtyard. Her views on getting married or flicking a cloth at invisible dust make me smile. 

5. You weave historical detail into the novel seamlessly. It's obvious you really know your 8th-century Wales! So, was it tough to resist the urge to info-dump?

Not really. It was difficult to edit a long book into a smaller one. Sometimes things are interesting but not necessary. A writer once coined the phrase 'killing your darlings.' In other word, edit, edit and edit. Rinse. Repeat. 

6. Can you briefly describe your writing process? Do you plot and outline, or do you wing it? 

Wings. I can't plot to save my life. It enables the characters to decide what will happen next. This resulted in one chapter being titled as 'Surprise!' because I had no clue it was waiting to be written. It was, so I typed till we were finished. Sometimes I was astonished at who wanted to talk that day. I see every character as if they are real because at the end of the day...they are. 

7.  Finally, do you have any semi-naked pictures of Gareth for me? (Okay, probably not an appropriate interview question, but, hey, this is me. I had to give it a shot!) 

Yes, I do have a picture of Gareth with no clothes. He says come and get it. 

[Linda is fanning herself now.]

Thank you for the interview, Linda! I look forward to reading your novel.

Thanks for being here with us today, Lynne!

For those of you interested in historical fiction 8th-century Wales, and a roaring great story, here's a cool book trailer for The Comrades:

You can read more about The Comrades at the publisher's website: Heart Ally Books. It's also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Yes, it comes in both trade paper and in e-book formats! (I have both.) Well worth the read, and I'm not saying that because Lynne is my friend. That part is just fortunate happenstance.

Obligatory end of blog post questions:

Have you ever been to Wales?

Have you ever seen a whale in person?

What makes you wail?

Take your pick, or answer all three. Or, yanno, say anything about anything at all in the whole post. I'm not picky, and neither is Lynne.