Music Monday — I’m Reading a Book

I’d been trying for awhile to find the perfect song to link with Elle Casey’s anniversary promotion, and I found it just in the nick of time (Thanks to Janette Rallison’s blog.)

So, what’s the deal with Elle Casey’s anniversary. Well, she generously put together a promotion of indie authors and their books — over seventy books to be exact — to celebrate the publication of her first book one year ago.  That’s some seriously good karma. Readers  can enter to win in here. Some are paperbacks, most are e-books, and you’ll need to read the fine print if you care about which is which.

I’ve read, or intend to read, a number of these.  The list below is by no means comprehensive, but only meant to give you a feel for what’s available over at Elle’s site.

Adriana Ryan — World of Shell and Bone — a dystopia featuring feminism gone wrong. Two words: read it.

Amanda Brice — Codename Dancer — Clever.  Dancing with the Stars meets Gallagher Girls

Dalya Moon — Smart Mouth Waitress and Broken Shell Island — Quirky and whimsical, just like the author

Shana Norris — The Boyfriend Thief — a super cute contemporary romance.

Tina Ferraro — The Starter Boyfriend.  Her books are fun, and bonus points because this one has a mannequin character, like My Wishful Thinking.

Here’s a couple more to think about. These are authors that I really, really like and I’ve read some of their books, but not the ones in Elle’s promo:

Sibel Hodge — I’ve read adult books by her and she’s got a children’s book It’s A Catastrophe.

ME Purfield — Is darkly funny. A Black Deeper Than Death is the featured book.

Plus there are a lot of other popular authors that I haven’t read their books yet:  Dannika Dark, Imogen Rose, Sarra Cannon, Samantha Young, TS Welti.

And, of course, Elle Casey’s books, which aren’t part of the giveaway, but she’s been busy over the past year and you can see her complete list of titles here.

Certainly, I’ve left authors off this list and there’s no ill will or editorializing about it. There’s just no way to mention every single book or author that’s participating in Elle’s ginormous promotion, so here’s the link, again. And now for this silly, but widely viewed video. Apologies if you’ve already see it.


January 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

An Interview with me

Hi Everyone!

So this seems a little kooky, but Grace the main character of my novel Winging It!, wants to interview me.  If you’ve been following along with the series you know she can be a real PIA, but I’ve agreed to go along, because…well…she probably won’t leave me alone if I don’t.

Before we get started, here’s a little description of the book:

Ever decided to do something that seemed like a good idea and in the second before there’s no turning back think, I musta been totally mental when I came up with this? And, then, Oh, well, here goes.

That’s how Angel-In-Training Grace Lightbourne felt right before she asked the Big Kahuna to go straight to Earth on a mission as a Guardian Angel. The problem? She never was a great student and now she won’t even finish her last three years of school. To make matters worse, Archangel Michael isn’t happy about her special assignment, but Grace is convinced she’s on a fast track to her wings. How hard can it be? She’s working with humans, after all.

Winging It!, the first book in the Angel-in-Training series, is an irreverent, light hearted take on Angels, Heaven and everything else that’s divine.

Ready, Grace?

Hey! That’s a picture of me on the cover.


I was having a good hair day dontcha think?


Okay, right, so I guess we ought to start.

Probably a good idea.

So Shel, you have two books—one starring moi—which means your Muse is hard at work.  What is she helping you on at the moment?

I’m finishing up a book which isn’t titled yet, but might be called My Wishful Thinking about two best friends who end up sharing a geeky genie. After that’s done, I’ll be jumping back into the second book about you and working through some of the gnarly pieces.

Don’t you think it would be better to work on the book about me now? 

 I really don’t, because the genie book is so close to complete and after it’s done you can have my full attention.

 If you say so.  I’m curious, especially since I’m one of your characters, which one are you most like? *whispers behind cupped hand*and please don’t say that whiny artist in Dolphin Girl.

 I heard that, and Jane is not that whiny.  But, to answer your question, there’s a little bit of me in all the characters. Even you, I’m afraid.

  But who are you most like?

 Hmm…probably Aisha. She was your GA, after all.

 Really? She makes me crazy, but, I guess I like her all right. 

 That’s good because she’s going to be your roomie in the next book.

 Oh, God!!  Nooooooo!

 Yep.  What’s your next question?

 Can we talk about changing the Aisha thing?


 Fine. You came up with this next question, so don’t act like you didn’t. What’s your favorite book of all time.

 I love lots of books, but my absolute favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read and re-read and re-read and only love it more each time.

You know that was one of Sibel Hodge’s favorites.  Now let’s talk swoony-worthy guys.  What in your opinion makes a guy swoon-worthy? And specifically how did you come up with Victor for me?

Well emotionally, I love a little verbal banter and a sense of humor is great. Physically, I have to get a picture of the character in mind and for you I used this picture of William Levy.  This was a couple years before his Dancing with the Stars fame, but I knew I had the right look when one of my critique partners said, “Now that’s a Victor I can get on board with.”

That does look a lot like Victor. Thanks for that!

Haha! No problem.

*Ahem* Maybe we should get back to the interview.  If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?

I wouldn’t want to miss any concerts because I love music, especially rock, but if I had to pick one it’d be George Harrison. It’d be something to see Give Me Love in Heaven.

Wow, I really expected you to pick something with a harder sound.

 Well, Jimi would be awesome, too.

Gonna change topics on you.  It’s *drum roll* Confession Time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I think you’ve already told everyone it’s procrastination, remember? We’ve got the support group going and I’m working on it.  But today, for example, I’m doing this interview with you instead of working the genie story.

*huffs* Don’t blame me. We’re almost done, and then you can get back to that other book.

 Next question: Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

Rebel with a cause.


I’m okay with bending or breaking any rules as long as there’s an excellent reason for doing it.

 Hmmm…so is that one of the ways you’re like me?


 So, what inspires you to bend or break rules?



 I can’t think of any situation or rule that isn’t trumped by love. And I hope that’s what inspires my writing, too.

 Aww….that’s so true. I hope it inspires you, too. So, what message do you want readers to take from your books?

 This is really the hardest question you’ve asked me!  I’ll try to explain using my *other* book, Dolphin Girl, okay?

 *huffs* Fine.

 Dolphin Girl is about being true to yourself and being happy with that. It’s about losing any expectations of perfection. It’s about empathy and forgiveness. That’s a lot of themes flying around.  Whenever I think about my readers, I don’t think I want them to “get” this.  Instead, I think I hope this book makes it to readers who can find something useful in it.

Oh. Makes sense to me.   

 Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

I know you do!  Please let her know how grateful I am for everything. And…um…if she could help me figure out the housekeeping thing, that’d be great!

 Will do and—ssh—you have to promise not to tell, but I heard there’s some help on that coming soon.

 Hey there!  Shel’s book Winging It! features me and that Victor guy up above. So, you should probably check it out here:


 And follow her on the web:  



 Or sign up for her mailing list, which will only go out once or twice a year, because she does procrastinate.  She’ll let you know what’s going on with her books, like the new one with me. 

Mailing list:

 Thanks, Grace.  Especially for the mailing list plug.

Have a great weekend, all!  See you soon.

May 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . author interviews. 9 comments.

Music Monday — Adele’s Someone Like You

I was absolutely thrilled to see Adele’s sweep of the Grammy’s last night for a couple reasons.

First, she’s a nice contrast to the antics of singers like Lady Gaga.  The lady admittedly has a lot of talent talent, but she actually distracts us from her music with whatever the the get-up du jour is.  Also, for me, Adele beats the pants off the electronica, auto-tuned sound that is so popular right now.  While it’s great for dancing, is it really music?  Does beat = music?  I’m not sure.

In the end, the main reason I’m happy for Adele’s success is that I love her soulful style of singing.  Chasing Pavements and Rolling in the Deep are beautiful songs, while this one, Someone Like You, gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it.

It’s remarkable how she can reach our hearts with with one nuance; one note.  And, when I think about what I’d really like to do with my writing, it’d be to create those same kinds of goosebumps for my readers, even if it’s only one line in one book.  Now, that’d be success.

Bravo, Adele. This song, by any standard, is a success.

February 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . music. 2 comments.

Music (the day after) Monday — With a Little Help From My Friends

One of the things I struggle with is a perfectionism.

Is this the right word?  The right way to phrase this?  Is my grammar flawless?  How ’bout punctuation?

It’s O.K.  Or, on second thought —  is it okay?

The lyrics in this song, What would you do if I sang out of tune?  Would you stand up and walk out on me? express this fear…well, perfectly.   Joe Cocker is not Pavarotti, but I’m okay with that.  I’m also, for the record, O.K. with that.

When it comes to my writing, the thing is, I know I’m not perfect and I’m pretty sure I never will be.  In fact, look at the title of this post.  It should have been posted yesterday.  It’s not Music Tuesday, right?  Not to belabor the point or anything.

So if a part of my writing is out of tune, will readers stop reading?  Some will.  But my friends will hear the heart beneath that sour note.  Today, I was given an incredible reminder of why it’s O.K. (okay) to sing your own song, your own way.  Cassie Deaton posted a review of Dolphin Girl over at her Shadow Kisses blog.  She gets me, warts and all.  It reminds me that like Joe Cocker, I need to say, Lend me your ear and I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key.

Now, let’s listen to Joe rasp and growl together, cause the guy’s got a ton of heart and soul.

January 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Charlie Brown

There are a couple Christmas songs that evoke clear memories from my childhood.  Wayne Newton’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”  and Burl Ives “Holly Jolly Christmas” — you know the version from Rudolph.  But none are as palpable as this one.

My parents loved this TV special.  They made sure to sit down and watch it with us, and I did the same with my children so we’re in the third generation of love for this music.  In fact, to make sure we can do the dance on any given day, I purchased The Vince Guaraldi’s Trio Charlie Brown Christmas on CD.  That way, I don’t have to wait for the special to come on TV.  Or buy the DVD and wait for this scene to play.  I can listen, and bake cookies, and dance like the twin girls whenever I want. 🙂  I might even do a little of that today.

It’ll make me feel like a child again, which is nice when you write for them.  So, what reminds you of Christmas as a child? Is it music?  Or a decoration? A tradition?  Or a scent?  Let me know.


December 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Cyber Music Monday — Talking Heads

This Monday post is under the wire since Cyber Monday was crazy busy.  And, this past weekend I got to play with a Kindle Fire, which is very, very cool.  Or very, very hot.

Whatever.  This is definitely the song for it.

November 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , . music, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Foo Fighters

This weekend my To Do list was outta control.  The blog tour, along with other newly-released-book stuff, along with NaNo, along with youth soccer, along with “Fall Cleaning”, which is the Florida version of “Spring Cleaning”, because we can finally open up our houses and air them out.

So, here are a few updates on the blog tour.  Last week I visited Ashley Paternostro’s La Bella Novella blog to yak a little about my foray into NaNoWriMo land.  Also, there were a few updates to the ongoing Ultimate YA Reading Group tumblr where I’m the Featured Author for November, namely some Fun Facts and Part 1 of an interview.  This week, I’ll be at Meredith McCardle’s very smart and stylish blog, where I ramble on and on about jobs.  Yeah, I wonder why I’d have that on the brain. *smirks*

And, I’m pretty sure, though not 100% positive, that Part Two of the interview will be up at The Ultimate YA Reading Group.  Next week I visit with Kristina Miranda and Mindy Alyse Weiss at their thought-provoking blogs.

Needless to say – it’s been busy.

To top it off, I needed a Music Monday, but what would reflect my current frame of mind?  Then, I was running an errand when my eleven-year-old decided we should listen to the Foo Fighters “All My Life”.  YES!  Yes, yes, yes!  This was the song. He and I screamed along with “Done. Done.  On to the next one.” in what was truly an awesome mother/son moment.

So, kick back, listen and yell with me, “On to the next!”

There, I feel much better now.

I hope all this rambling about my to-do list doesn’t make me seem ungrateful. It probably does.  But really, really, really I am so thankful to be able to do the blog tour. In fact, it’s been a year of reasons to be thankful.  One more thing on my to do list this week is to have a heap of turkey, mashed potatoes, meat pie and cranberry.  Then I can sing again: done. done.

November 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . music. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — RHCP’s Give It Away

I’m a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers because their music is uniquely theirs and soulful and…interesting.  “Give It Away” is the first thing I ever heard by them and it astounded me.  The song was completely different from anything else being played at the time.  I watched the video again yesterday when I was mulling over this post and it still stuns.  It’s so raw.

So, why this song?  Now?

Because I’m Giving It Away.  Now.

Over at Goodreads, I’m giving away five paperback copies of Dolphin Girl.  The giveaway has been up for a couple weeks and already more than 300 people have entered to win, which is pretty exciting to me.  Every time I stop by the page to see how it’s going , more people have entered or added Dolphin Girl to their bookshelves.  It’s as shocking as the song!  🙂

As I write this post, there are precisely 15 days, 21 hours, 14 minutes and 21 seconds, 20, 19, 18 left before Goodreads does some kind of random selection (it’s not me) and they send me the five winners.  It could be you.  So, if you haven’t entered and you’d like to, click here. 

If you don’t want to enter, then you can just listen to some RHCP.

November 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Taylor Swift

So this might seem really, really, really different than  the songs I ordinarily feature on Music Mondays.  But, I love the high school first love feel of this song.  I blogged here about how Linkin Park’s song Numb feels a lot like the story I tell in Dolphin Girl.  But if that song tells the story of Jane’s family and her struggle with isolation, this song tells the story of the romance with Sam.

One is edgy, one is sweet.  Smoosh ’em together and you’ll get Jane’s vibe.

October 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . music. 3 comments.

Is your muse like my muse?

What is your muse like?  Do they show up when you least expect it? Unannounced, like a relative or friend that barges in when you’ve got a ton of other things to do?

Or do they sometimes whisper so softly that it’s hard to hear them?

Have they ever take a vacation and forget to tell you they’re going?

Mine–and I love him or her–does all of the above.  But the thing that really blows me away is that sometimes mine can be a bit show-off-y. You might wonder what I’m talking about here. So I’ve got to tell you this one story.

I mentioned in an earlier post, right here,  about two times my muse has shown me something through music.  This story is about the second time.  I’ll save the first time for later.

So, a few months back, I was working on  my novel, Dolphin Girl, and I was thinking about how a theme in the book dealt with her being tugged on by an undertow or pulled along by a current beyond her control.  While I was thinking, a song came on the radio, an old song that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  “Numb” by Linkin’ Park.  Do you know the song?

Anyway, the lyrics “under the surface” and “caught in the undertow” along with some others really hooked my imagination.  This song completely summed up exactly how Jane, the main character, was feeling! I couldn’t remember ever seeing the video, so I wrote Numb on a slip of paper and set it aside to look up the video later.

Fast forward a couple of days, maybe a week, and I find the paper–LOL, yeah, that’s how I roll with my muse–and decide to watch the video.  Can you say creeped out?  I’m embedding the video below so you can watch it, but I’ll just mention that in the book Jane is an artist who has always her sketch pad with her.  The relationship with her mother is stifling and she’s got some issues with cliques at school. Beyond that, there are a few other doozies that are eerily, eerily similar. I literally shivered when I watched this video.  ‘Cause my muse was showing off, that’s why.   So, if you’re maybe a little curious about the book or about the song, here it is.  Oh, one more thing, if you know my writing, pay attention to her first sketch.  No, it’s not a dolphin, but you’ll see. Shiver.  See?  Show off.

October 6, 2011. Tags: , , , . dolphin girl, music, YouTube stuff. 3 comments.

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