Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Tada! My exciting announcement is finally here ...

Remember how on Monday I said I had a surprise? You have no idea how much I've been itching to officially announce this. A few very special people already know about it, and have been slowly seeping the word out. But I wanted to wait for a day where my "business partner" and I could both give it a shout out at the same time.

That "business partner" is Dawn Ius. Long time blog friend, and most importantly, a very very talented author.

And today we would like to announce the VINE LEAVES LITERARY JOURNAL!!!

We're very very excited about this because we're doing something a bit different. Here's the Mission Statement from our Home Page:

"The world of literature nowadays is so diverse, open-minded and thriving in experimental works, that there doesn’t seem to be any single form of written art missing from it ... you would think. But there is.
The vignette.

It’s rare for a literary magazine to accept the "vignette" as a publishable piece of literature. Why? Because it is not a “proper story.” We beg to differ.

So, what is a vignette?

"Vignette" is a word that originally meant "something that may be written on a vine-leaf." It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It's descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.

Vine Leaves, will entwine you in atmosphere; wrap you in a world where literature ferments and then matures … "

Today, we have also posted our very first BLOG POST, called, WORD VOMIT? OR A NICE MATURE WINE? Which gives a little more insight into our intentions for this journal. Please do drop by and have a read! We don't have Google Connect, but there is an RSS Feed, so please to add it to your Google Reader, or whatever else you use to follow blogs.

Our first issue comes out January 2012, and we're already flooded with submissions. Especially after registering it on The results so far are just AMAZING. We're doing this out of pure love of the written word and have invested our own money and time to get this up and running. Eventually, we also hope to be able to pay contributors. Oh! And we also accept artwork and photography!

If you'd like to submit and be a part of our inaugural issue, please read the SUBMISSION GUIDELINES and get submitting!

Also, please do connect with us on TWITTER and FACEBOOK!

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!!! :o)

PS: One of my poems goes live on CORDITE REVIEW today. So proud of myself. They're really hard to get into. So excited!

Monday, 28 November 2011

In which I decide to cut my life into bite-sized, and hopefully manageable, pieces ...

I had such a good break from blogging last week. I basically did nothing but faff around and waste time (and do freelance work). But let's just call it, "re-energizing." Yes, I did pop into a couple of blogs to leave comments, and spent a bit of time on Facebook, but I really really can't resist sometimes ... it's a problem. I think I might need counseling ...

Actually I did do something worthwhile last week ...

I applied for a grant.

I find out next year in April if I get it. So keep your fingers crossed for me, please!

I also started a very very very very exciting project with a very very very good friend (and brilliant author) of mine. No, it's not a novel. No it's not a poetry or short story collection ... it's ... well ... you're going to have to wait till Wednesday to find out what it is because we're going to announce it together and direct you all to the wonderful URL where it's all taking place. Those of you who know what it is ... shhh! But really, it wouldn't take a baby crocodile long to figure out what it is if they just had a peak around my blog :o)

Anyway ... it'll be officially announced on Wednesday so ... SHHH!!!

Speaking of Wednesday, that's when you'll see me posting again. I've decided to put my foot down with the side of my brain that is addicted to this place and YOU. I'm setting a schedule and I'm sticking to it. I can't focus properly on all the other stuff (writing, music, work, yoga, life), because all I'm thinking about is YOU. So I have to sacrifice a bit of you to get my head in a healthy place where I can focus on one thing at a time. I have to allocate particular times of day for particular things. Life is just getting too busy and I need to find a balance somehow.

So my schedule from now on is: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.

I will also do my best to only comment on these days too, but that might take a bit of getting used to, so please allow me to wean myself off and don't yell at me if you see me lurking round ... :o)

One last thing ... congrats to Theresa Milstein for winning String Bridge!!!

Um ... until Wednesday, folks ... oh my god it is so hard to say that ...

Any of you had to cut down on blogging? How did you feel about it? Did it take you long to get used to?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Birthday Bash with awesome prizes!

I know I know, I'm supposed to be on a break, BUT, you have to check this out. Seriously. The prizes are HUGE, you can also win my book, because I'm one of the sponsors ...

Seriously ... stop staring at this POST! I know you're kinda stumped, but just click the button to the right and get celebrating!!!

Oh, and ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY J.C.!!!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I want a break. That’s all. A break. (And you want free goods, right?)

So today is the last day of the String Bridge Book & Music Blog Tour and I'd like to thank all who participated from the bottom of my heart. This has been such a wonderful debut book launch and I will never forget it!

If you're late to the party and would like to browse through previous posts, you can take a look at a navigable list by going to the blog tour tab above.

And you know what? I'm POOPED. So I'm going to take next week off from blogging and get me some much needed rest. Can you believe I worked 2 1/2 weeks straight of 13-hour shifts without weekend breaks and kept up to date with my blog tour posts?

Oh my GOSH. Talk about luck. All my freelance work fell on me at once: during my blog tour. Some might say that was bad luck, but to tell you the truth, it came at a good time: when my bank account reached numero zero.

When I return on Monday, 28th November, I'm also going to have a new blog schedule in place. I think I may only post two or three times a week from now on. It's just getting too much to handle. And I need to get some writing done. Haven't done any in months. Will keep you posted on what I decide.

So, as a mega thank you for all your support ... I'm giving away a free copy of String Bridge in Kindle format and a free copy of the accompanying soundtrack in MP3 format. If you haven't crossed the String Bridge yet, just jump on this last bandwagon to get to the other side ...

All you gotta do is ...

  • comment on this post
  • follow this blog
  • tweet or facebook this post (make sure you tag me so I know you did it: MsBessieBell (Twitter) Author Jessica Bell (Facebook)

Have a great Thanksgiving to all you folks in the USA!

Cheers and thanks again!

Lovely blog tour participants today are ...

Chris Phillips ~ (Review/Interview) The fantastically funny founder of the Music to Make Write To posts.

"Hi. I'm Chris. I live in Nebraska. Please help me. No really."

Tessa Conte ~ (Review/Interview) This lovely lady also likes to write about music on Mondays!
Music Monday

"I've been writing ever since I figured out how to hold a crayon, although I've since learned that 'writing' illustrated stories on the living room wall is not a good plan if you're trying to impress your parents...I've now graduated to notebooks, loose bits of paper, the backs of shopping receipts and the odd napkin or two. Oh, and I have a laptop, too."

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Saturday, 19 November 2011

But I’m not sure I’m ready to wipe my skin dry; to drown myself in a new ocean, where my desire for fleeing this emotional cage hides like a mermaid ambivalent about growing legs.

Me on a beach called Kravoulia, on Ithaca.
I'm not a fan of swimming. I like to bob. I like to feel the flow of water against my skin, the coolness of the ocean cleanse my soul. Which is sorta funny considering my star sign is Pisces. But who believes in that stuff anyway? Do you?

Do I?

I'm not sure. Sometimes I like to look at my horoscope for a bit of fun and am often quite surprised at its accuracy. But then I wonder how. I was born five weeks premature, so technically, aren't I an Aries?

Anyway ...

If there's one thing in life that I've learned, it's that we are unique. You are you, and I am me and ... well ... I'm tired and have lost my train of thought ...

I guess my point is, don't ever try to be someone you're not. It doesn't work. Believe me. I've tried it. Since embracing who I am, deep down, I have found a lot of happiness in this world. My only hope is that it continues to flourish.

What's one life lesson you will never forget?

Lovely blog tour participants today ...

Julie Musil ~ (Review) Wonderful woman who is always eager to lend a helping hand.

"YA author represented by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary Agency. I'm wife to my high school honey, and the mother of three amazing sons. When I'm not shuttling my boys here, there, and everywhere, I'm either tapping away on my keyboard, researching for nonfiction, or keeping up with writing tips and markets."

June Bug ~ (Review) Who has just adopted a gorgeous little girl!

"gypsy + scribbler + explorer + malapropos + tigress"

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Friday, 18 November 2011

In my world, the stage is a magnet. One side pulls me in, the other pushes me away, generating an involuntary psychological push-and-shove with no resolution in sight.

Me performing with my band "spAnk" at
Melbourne University back in 1999, I think.
Just like Melody in String Bridge, I suffer from stage fright. But I'm WORSE than Melody. Just the thought of getting up on that stage makes me want to vomit. Like right now. I'm gagging writing this post and I already feel like peeing because the thought makes me nervous.

I wasn't always this bad. It's gotten worse the older I've become. What's with that? It sorta reminds me of how the older you get, the more ill you feel on a roller coaster. I really wonder what it is, with age, that exaggerates small fears until they blow out of proportion. Have you ever seen a grown man jump on top of his desk at the sight of a cockroach? I have.

Okay ... seriously. I can't talk about this. So I'm just going to ask you ... what's your biggest fear?


Lovely blog participants today ...

Katrina Lantz ~ (Review) One of the sweetest in the blogosphere.

"Katrina Lantz is alive in spite of an airplane crash over Texas when she was two. She conquered her fear of flying on a commercial flight to D.C. when she was sixteen. She conquered everyone else's fears of sky diving at the SkyDive Ranch in Canada when she was nineteen. She has yet to conquer her fear of airports."

Madeline Sharples ~ (Review/Interview) Amazing author of Leaving the Hall Light On, and cherished friend.

"I’ve worked most of my professional life as a technical writer, grant writer, and proposal process manager and began writing poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction when my oldest son, Paul, was diagnosed as manic depressive. I continued writing as a way to heal since his death by suicide in 1999. My memoir, "Leaving the Hall Light On," released on Mother's Day 2011 by Lucky Press LLC, is about living with my son's bipolar disorder and surviving his suicide. I also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of "The Great American Poetry Show," a poetry anthology, and completed the poems for a book of photography, called "The Emerging Goddess." My poems have been recently published in "Memoir (and)," "The Muddy River Poetry Review," "Perigee - Publication for the Arts," "Unfold," and the "Survivor Chronicles."

Mel Chelsey ~ (Review) High fantasy writer and reader ... this shall be interesting ...

"My name is Mel Chesley and I'm a fantasy author (soon to be published! With Hellfire Publishing!), a mom, a wife and a keeper of kittens. This is my blog, such as it is, with ramblings and musings of my writing journey. Sometimes I'm a smart ass, sometimes I'm not. But I do try to be somewhat entertaining and hope to at least get you to laugh, or maybe even cry on this journey we call writing."

Phanee ~ (Review) Fellow Grecian, lovely lady ... :o)

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”

Rosie Connolly ~ (Review) Thank you for being such a wonderful supporter!

"The left half of my brain is trying to suppress the creativity of the right half, while the right half of my brain is trying to suppress the order of the left. It makes for one disoriented life. As a writer of light Urban Fantasy, I tend to write extended, multi-volume works. I also dabble in drabbles and short stories when the mood strikes."

Sherry Auger ~ (Review) Her kinds words were music to my ears ...

"Writing has become necessary in my life. It is in the air I breathe, the food for my soul, and the path of resistance. Having my novels published is my aim. Short stories in magazines and online websites is good, but to achieve success requires dedication, patience, and humility".

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Dad and Tessa came storming in from habituating with the goats.

Me rocking it out with Demetri
on the set of one of their video
clip making  days
Yesterday I spoke about my mother, so today I'm going to talk about my step-father, Demetri Vlassopoulosand my biological father, Tony Bell, who are both talented guitarists. But first, I've got to say, that I love them both equally as much as each other. Yes, I grew up with Demetri from the age of one, but my mother never had any problem with me spending quality time with Tony or his gorgeous wife, Margaret, and their kids. My family is HUGE.

And you know what? It was so awesome having such a big family, because when I was a kid, I celebrated Christmas, THREE times every single year. Once with Mum's family on Christmas Eve night, because that's how the Germans do it. Once on Christmas day with Demetri's Greek family, and again on Boxing Day when I would spend the day with Tony's family.

Favorite memories with Demetri are ...playing hand ball against the red brick garage wall in the back yard ... playing cards or Uno during my fits of boredom ... him giving me massages whenever I felt like one ... him somehow being able to soothe my debilitating migraines in the middle of the night with his gentle voice and healing hands ... his driving me to school in his dark blue Volkswagen Beetle and the kids watching and thinking he was the drummer from Faith No More and my boyfriend ... LOL!

Left to right: Demetri, Tony, my mother,  (yep, she's
a tad of an exhibitionist), and me, at my farewell
party before moving to Greece.
Favorite memories with Tony are ... him trying to tutor me in mathematics (he is a maths and science high school teacher), and me not understanding a thing (I hated it), but relishing the fact that it was a nice moment of affection ... the family trips to Geelong to visit my grandparents ... him trying to teach me how to draw 3D spheres and the thrill I felt when I finally mastered it (he is also an amazing artist) ... him humoring me when I wanted to show him my made-up dance routines in his lounge room.

So there you have it. My two Dad's. And I love them both with all my heart!!!

What's one of your favorite memories with one of your parents?


Emily White ~ (Interview) In which I talk about my favorite thing about working with a small press and reveal my favorite line from the novel.

"I love writing because my characters have to do everything I say...MWAHAHAHAHA! My debut novel, ELEMENTAL (a YA Space Opera), is going to be published by Spencer Hill Press May 1, 2012."

Shannon McMahon ~ (Review) One of my most favorite people in blogland. Check her out. She writes some amazing wine and film reviews!

"I'm a professional writer. I write weekly wine and movie reviews, recipes, and I'm freelance content specialist. I also write Chick Lit and Middle Grade fiction; while these genres are usually worlds apart, once you get to know me it will all make sense."

Shauna Kelley ~ (Review) A fellow Lucky Press author whose debut YA novel, Max and Menna is a must read!

"I am a novelist, a lover of fiction in nearly any form, scattered, a movie fanatic, a frazzled city dweller, appreciative of dreamy men, and a blogger... Welcome!"

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

“I … I wuv you, Mummy,” she says and falls into my lap, wrapping her arms around my waist.

Me and my mum, 2008, on Ithaca.
Speaking of "Mummy," today I'd like to introduce you to mine. Her name is Erika Krincenzia Waltraud Urbach in full. She goes by the name Erika Bach, when she's being a musician, and Erika Bell, when she's being my mother. She lives on the Greek island of Ithaca with my step father Demetri Vlassopoulos, and is the founder and head of and her own real estate company.

Erika was born in a small German Village called Rehau and migrated to Australia with her mega huge family when she was nine. And she grew up to be the only person on this planet I have ever looked up to so much. If it wasn't for her encouraging me to do anything and everything my heart desired, no matter how difficult the process, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't believe that there is way to get anything I want if I really put my mind to it. And you know what? It's is SO true. If you want something, and you reach for it enough, it WILL happen.

My gorgeous parents, September 2011 :o)
From a very young age she always said to me, "if there's a will, there's a way." And she is living proof of that. I'm not going to go into any of her history, but let me put it this way: my mother was once so close to  giving up on herself ... but she bounced back. And she said the only reason she got through the hell was because of me. Because she couldn't bear the thought of leaving me here without a mother.

Mum, thank you for being here and thank you for being you. I wouldn't change a thing about you. I love you. And I always will.

Who do you look up to the most?

Participating in my blog tour today is ...

Alex Cavanaugh ~ (Music Review) This guy is the hottest metal head in the blogosphere. If you don't know him, get to know him!

"I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and work in web design and graphics. I minored in music and play several instruments, including guitar. I'm experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, my interests range from books and movies to music and games. Those passions are reflected here on my blog! My first book, CassaStar, was released on October 19, 2010. The sequel, CassaFire, will be released February 28, 2012. I live in the Carolinas with my wife."

Emily White ~ (Review) Gorgeous and talented and kind-hearted. You'll have a true friend in Emily. Drop by and say hi!

"Emily White lives in NY, wedged between two of the Great Lakes and a few feet of snow and ice. She's spent most of her life running away from the cold, and even spent a year in Iraq, but now contents herself with writing her characters into warm, exotic places in faraway galaxies. When not tapping away at her computer keys, she can be found reading, reading, and reading some more. And when she's not doing that, she's usually playing video games with her husband, peek-a-boo with her kids, or walking through her garden, wondering why the bugs insist on eating all her vegetables. Emily's debut YA Sci-fi novel, ELEMENTAL, will be published by Spencer Hill Press in 2012."

M. Pax ~ (Review) We don't know each other all too well, but I get the impression that she's one of those women you just say 'yes' to no matter what! ;o) There aren't enough women like Mary in this world. Check her out!

"Science fiction writer. Ebooks, short stories and more. Amateur astronomer giving star tours at Pine Mountain Observatory. I'm also obsessed with Jane Austen."

Pam Torres ~ (Review/Interview) In which we discuss my writing habits!

"I write for middle grade. There's this weird time when you're not a kid anymore but you're not quite an actual teenager. That's what I write about. Probably because I still remember it so clearly."

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Just as I think things can’t get any worse, I look down at my feet—and there it is—the almost reality of the turn-up-at-schoolnaked dream.

So who has never had that dream where you turn up at school naked? I don't think there is any one of us who hasn't.

I've even had a weird version where my whole body was clothed in pyjamas except for my you-know-what. Someone had cut a hole out of my pants in the middle of the night. In my dream. Not for real. Just thought I'd add that in case you got confused.

I could add another detail which might be a too much info, but let me just say, I hadn't yet reached puberty (well maybe that was the beginning) and the hole in my pyjamas exposed something which totally freaked me out ... I will not say any more ... I woke up panting and in a sweat. Now THAT was a wet dream ...

Anyway, short and sweet today ... who can find  me?

CLICK TO ENLARGE: My very first year at high school ...


Lovely blog tour participants today are ....

Hart Johnson ~ (Review/Interview) Quirky traits, from a dark mind ... how? you ask ...

"I write books from my bathtub and blog in my basement. For a full bio on the 3 faces of me, check out the tab. As for the shenanigans around here... lots on writing, some life... mostly I just want to encourage you to play with me. Silliness abounds."

Len Lambert ~ (Review) I answer a couple more questions too. This is one of my most special moments ...

"Hello! It's nice to have you here! In case you are wondering, my blog title was inspired by a childhood memory - I used to talk to myself in the mirror when I was a little girl. I had imaginary friends, too. I even talked to geckos and count their 'tsk.tsk.tsk' and convert them into syllables to form words. Now, not only do I talk to myself...I write all the 'talking' too!"

Roland Yeomans ~ (Interview (creative) In which I am being interviewed by a ghost. Who wrote those questions anyway? lolol

"Dreamer. Writer. Believer in the worth of each soul I meet. It is not so bad a thing to have been born with the gift of laughter and the knowledge that the world is mad."

Sheri Larsen ~ (Review) One of the most supportive bloggers I know ...

"Published freelance & short story writer; author of young adult, middle grade, & picture books. Lover of all paranormal & the not-so-average teen/tween. Hair-raising mom to 4 humanoids, lover of dance, sports, jamming to rock music in the car, the rain, anything chocolate...and a romantic wink from my favorite werewolf. My friends call me Sheri."

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
the album Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Monday, 14 November 2011

As much as I don’t like to admit it, 1980s pop-culture lines my veins like milk to an acidic stomach.

Me (right) and a very good friend of mine,
Caitlin, (we're still in touch!) on a  "period" fancy
dress day during our high school graduation.
Obviously I chose the 80s :o)
So yeah. By the time I was at an age to start appreciating music and wanting to buy my own albums it was well into the late 80s. The very first album I bought was in the form of a cassette (I wish it had been vinyl!) and it was Kylie Minogue's debut, which featured the hit, I Should Be So Lucky.

Despite my parents rocking out their heavy, politically-minded 80's gothic rock, such as THIS, I obviously wanted to rebel. But rebelling against rock gods for parents meant becoming a "square". Yep.

I was into glittering pink and red sequined dresses and artists such as Martika and The Bangles and Bananarama and Technotronic and Cyndi Lauper and Alannah Miles and Paula Abdul and Madonna and Prince and Melissa Etheridge and Belinda Carlisle and and, breathe ... yep.

I still have a soft spot them too. My tummy goes all mushy when I hear them and I immediately think back to the days I'd block out my parents' music with my Walkman up loud sitting inside a little cubby house I'd make with kitchen chairs and sheets. (Yikes. That was a long sentence! :o) 

Ah ... those were the days ...

What was the first album you ever bought?

PS: If you missed reading about the Amazon Chart Rush results you can do so by clicking HERE. Plus there is an update from this morning there too. I'm ranked even higher in the UK charts now, thanks to you all!!!

Participating in my blog tour today are ...

Amie McCracken ~ (Review) This lovely lady checked String Bridge for typos in its last stages of editing :o)

"I’m a voracious reader. My calling in life is editing. I’m ambitious and strong, but shy and like to sit in the background. I live in Germany with my husband, camera, computer, and a lot of ideas floating around in my head. They tend to take over (the ideas), and most of the time you’ll catch me staring off into space."

Amy Saia (Review) Another fellow writer/musician who has inspired me in many ways!

"Artist, writer, singer and now happily part of the WiDo family! My YA paranormal romance, The Soul Seekers, will be published by WiDo sometime in 2012. Happy Dance."

Erica Spangler (Review) Not a fan of literary fiction, so I'm so pleased about her response!

"Book Blogger to track and share my reading adventures. I will report about book events in the Chico and surrounding Northern, CA area. I review books that I personally want to read or that publishers have sent my way. I book blog to support Indie authors, Indie publishers and Self-published authors. I recently received my MA in English Literature in May 2009 from Chico State. This has secured my ability to over analyze EVERYTHING. Enjoy!"

Katrina Lantz ~ (Interview) In which I talk about not being a mother.

"Katrina Lantz is alive in spite of an airplane crash over Texas when she was two. She conquered her fear of flying on a commercial flight to D.C. when she was sixteen. She conquered everyone else's fears of sky diving at the SkyDive Ranch in Canada when she was nineteen. She has yet to conquer her fear of airports."

Robyn Campbell ~ (Interview) I which I reveal my guilt reading pleasures.

"I was born and raised in South Florida. South Miami and the Keys."

Sheri Larsen ~ (Character Interview) The main character of my novel, Melody, is being interviewed here today. Check it out to see who first inspired her musically. This stuff is NOT in the book, but is a part of her backstory. :o)

"Published freelance & short story writer; author of young adult, middle grade, & picture books. Lover of all paranormal & the not-so-average teen/tween. Hair-raising mom to 4 humanoids, lover of dance, sports, jamming to rock music in the car, the rain, anything chocolate...and a romantic wink from my favorite werewolf. My friends call me Sheri."

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Chill out day from the String Bridge blog tour ...

Taking the day off to chill out. Actually, that's a lie, I have freelance work to do :o(

... I only wish I was doing it here:

instead of here:

Normal blog tour posts shall resume tomorrow. Have a great Sunday!

PS: If you missed the results of the Amazon Chart Rush, check out yesterday's post. It was all very exciting and the hard work paid off!

Today's little blog tour installment is here:

New Book Blogger ~ (Review) This is a Glynis Smy project :o)

String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Amazon Chart Rush Results!!!!!!!!!

Firstly thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for everyone who purchased my novel String Bridge yesterday! What a whirlwind of a day it was, I hardly noticed the time going by with all the comments on people's blogs I was making, and tweets and Facebook updates.

The last time I looked before going to bed last night, my book's bestseller rank was at around #2,000. But apparently, according to Amy Saia, it reached the low 100s! Woot! 

And guess what??? I made it to No.40 in Amazon's Hot New Releases!!!!!!! And I'm still currently sitting at No.52

You did this folks! Thank you so much. I will never ever forget how you all helped me to achieve this amazing thing. I know it's not really that much of a big deal in the scheme of things. But it is for me, for someone who started from NOTHING only a year ago. So thank you!!!!

As a thank you, I will still give away the soundtrack to purchases made today. Please be sure to email me your receipt: jessica.carmen.bell(at)

SATUDAY NIGHT UPDATE: I'm in the Bestseller list on Amazon UK at #73! Woot! :o)

MONDAY (14th) MORNING UPDATE: #43 in Women's Literary Fiction and #77 in Women's Popular Fiction. 

We did it guys! You are all awesome!!!


String Bridge purchase links:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US  ~ Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

To see a list of other online stores where you can purchase
Melody Hill: On the Other Side, please go to: AWAL

Friday, 11 November 2011


Today is THE day to help STRING BRIDGE hit the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrackMelody Hill: On the Other Sidewritten and performed by me, for free!

All you have to do is purchase the book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and then email the receipt to jessica.carmen.bell(at)gmail(dot)com. I will then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperback:
Amazon USA (and Australia)

To purchase the eBook:
Amazon USA (and Australia)

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

Connect with me:

String Bridge:

Please TWEET & FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge! Or just copy/paste the announcement below:

Buy Jessica Bell’s debut from Amazon today & receive the soundtrack 4 free! or #StringBridge

Announcing the winner of my contest! MAINE CHARACTER congratulations you've won! On Monday, November 7th, you guessed page 57, and holy moly my jaw dropped because the line fell on page 58! Nice guess! I'll be in touch for a postal address. Cheers!


Today's blog participants are MANY. You can see a full list of Amazon Chart Rush pluggers in my Blog Tour Schedule, but there are still some that are posting more than a plug, and these fantabulous people are:

Bonnie Wagner ~ (Review) Bonnie and I have really just met and I can't wait to get to know her better!

"Main Entry: bon·niePronunciation: \ˈbä-nē\
Function: female
Etymology: Scottish, English; perhaps derived from the French word "bon," meaning good or nice.
A bonny lass enjoys singing at the top of her lungs, meandering her way through telling the stories of the characters living inside her head, eating strawberries, tinkering around in Photoshop, catching fireflies for the sheer joy of letting them go again, and getting lost in a good book. "

Dawn Dalton ~ (Music Review/Interview) This is Dawn Ius' alter ego :o) where she showcases her YA and Middle Grade Fiction.

Glynis Smy ~ (Review) Another review which ended up on my website.

"I was born in the UK and now live in a rural village, on the Southern side of Cyprus. I am a writer. I write Historical Romance (with a twist). I have had articles published in magazines in the UK and Cyprus. There are two poetry books and a Children's book out there with my name and pen name (Nissi Peters) on. My poetry blog is listed on the Top 100 Poetry Blogs. I am married with 3 adult children, they lead their own lives, the girls live in the UK, and our son is in Vancouver, Canada. Since leaving long nursing shifts behind I find myself having hobbies! I cross stitch, make cards and swim. I am a Halloween Baby, I have my moments and they are always blonde ones!"

A Southpaw's POV ~ (Interview) In which I reveal my totally eccentric comfort food.

"I’m a fantasy / urban fantasy writer. I enjoy creating illustrations, taking photographs, and cooking. I post about these topics (and other things that hit my fancy) once or twice a week. Oh, and I’m a southpaw."

Janice Phelps Williams ~ This is my publisher and cover designer talking about the making of the String Bridge book cover. So so interesting!

"I am involved in various creative endeavors in art, illustration, crafts, and writing. Learn more at and"

Jessica Hill ~ (Review) She is actually a great poet, but I don't think you'll ever see her admitting that!

"Jessica enjoys the feel of sand between her toes, the sounds of the ocean, sunshine, and 70-degree weather. In a twist of fate, she was born in rural Ohio in a small industrial town that's surrounded by farmland and, despite numerous declarations of someday busting out and shaking the dust from her Converses, still resides there today."

Jo Schaffer ~ (Interview) In which I offer my opinion on a very thought-provoking Thomas Moore quote.

"Healthy, happy, intelligent and empowered mama... And soon to be published author! I grew up in a big family in the Bay Area of California, had a great childhood, attended college at BYU London, England and stateside. Then married my sweet filmmaker/artist husband and have three sons who also love the arts. Creativity abounds in this house! I'm a proud member of Writers Cubed and Co-Founder of the super cool and successful Teen Author Boot Camp. Life is busy and good. (="

Mason Canyon ~ (Review) She IS the book review QUEEN.

"I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also a freelance editor. For more on my services, drop by Freelance Editing By Mason"

Renae Mercado ~ (Interview) In which I get carried away with clichés!

"When I'm not busy with my two adorable kids, or teaching second grade, I write young adult novels and love to read."

Robyn Campbell ~ (Review) We are relatively new to each others' blog too. I really ought to stop by and say hi more often!

"I was born and raised in South Florida. South Miami and the Keys."

Stephen Parrish ~ (Review/Interview) In which I reveal that my mother did NOT pull the heads off my barbie dolls!

"I'm the author of THE TAVERNIER STONES."

Talli Roland ~ (Review) Another great review that ended up on my website. Thank you, Talli!

"When I'm not slurping coffee or wine, I write humorous romantic fiction. THE HATING GAME and WATCHING WILLOW WATTS are available now; BUILD A MAN will be released in Dec 2011. I'm also the author of the 24 HOURS travel guides under the name Marsha Moore."

Valerie Jolley ~ (Blog Tour Love) She's making a cake of my book cover!


PS: Also today there are three writers having a twitter party to celebrate the launch of their books — C.K. Bryant (Bound), Rashelle Workman (Exiled), and Ali Cross (Become)! Check out Dark C.A.R.M.A for more info!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Nirvana—the grunge band which made dressing like a construction worker in flannel shirts and blundstone boots a fashion statement.

Erm ... wearing my father's shirt and sunnies ...
and thinkin' I look cool?
So what was the deal with flannel? It looks like a picnic table cloth. Why was it so cool? Did it make people think that they could eat off themselves? Did it inspire some sort of kinky agenda?

"Hey baby, wanna fry a snag and rest it on me chest? While you're at it love, git me a beer, and lick that mustard off this button. It don't look too hot."

"But dear, that's coz I spread the mild one on ya."

Actually, I still like flannel, and if I owned a flannel shirt I'd probably wear it with a decent pair of jeans. Something kinda wholesome about it, isn't there?

As for blundstones, I prefer good old army boots to those now. Mind you, I don't have my army boots anymore either. Replaced them with boots that look like army boots but are so soft you might as well call them Hush Puppies.

I think I'm getting old ...

Do you still have any clothes from your past? Do you wear them?


Today is the last day to enter my contest!

If you missed LAST MONDAY'S POST, here're the basics:
  • You read the line in the title and guess which page it appears in String Bridge. (people who have read the book can not compete, sorry!)
  • You write your guess in the comments.
  • Tomorrow, November 11th, the Amazon Chart Rush day, I'll announce the winner. The winner will be the person who first guesses a number CLOSEST to the page a line falls on (page 1-288). If you guess and comment on all TEN lines (from Nov 1st - 10th) you'll have ten chances at winning the prize. So feel free to sift back through the posts to makes you guesses. You can get to them easily via the blog schedule tab under the banner.

Don't forget about the Amazon Chart Rush tomorrow November 11! Please spread the word. If you haven't signed up to help plug String Bridge tomorrow, and you'd like to. Just comment on this post and I'll email you all the necessary info. Remember, if you PURCHASE THE BOOK TOMORROW, either paperback or eBook, you'll RECEIVE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR FREE.

Not going to be around tomorrow? Purchase String Bridge now via Lucky Press, LLC.


Participating in my blog tour today are the following magnificent and unique individuals. Also don't forget to enter my 10-Day contest. More details below.

Gina Blechman ~ (Review) This gal is a singer/songwriter/guitarist too, and she has a mighty fine voice, I might add!

"Welcome to my blog. Below you can find book reviews, writing tips, fun banter, writing related links, and excerpts from whatever manuscript I happen to be working on. Though the last theme for Kaleidoscope Thoughts was YA dystopian, in line with my last manuscript, Synesthisis, we have now switched to romance (of all types) in honor of my latest work in progress, a coming of (middle) age LGBT love story."

Jemi Fraser ~ (Music Review) Jemi signed up right at the last minute. Thank you!

"I am an aspiring writer of romantic mysteries and YA Steampunk. Variety is THE spice, after all."

Karen Amanda Hooper ~ (Review) I've known Karen for a while now, but seem to keep missing her posts! Starting to rectify that now, as I think she may have noticed ;o)

"My YA merfolk/selkie story, TANGLED TIDES, will be published by Rhemalda. Releasing November 25, 2011."

Kittie Howard ~ (Review) Oh Kittie, you did such a wonderful job with this review. Thank you SO much!

"I blog stories gained through life's experiences, some good, some not so good, but thankful for both and my life's rich tapestry. I blog for the sheer joy of writing, the pleasure at hearing the keyboard's tap, tap, tap as it slices through the years, but well aware that the past is prologue. I primarly blog about growing up on a farm in South Louisiana, stories anchored in a family that first came to Louisiana in 1679. All of my stories are free-standing. You can jump in any time!"

Laura M. Campbell ~ (Interview) In which we talk about lots and lots of personal stuff! And you'll see a pic of my dog when she was a puppy :o)

"I'm a writer of mysteryand the macabre with strong, yet flawed female protagonists. Here in the blogosphere, I connect with new and old writing buddies. It keeps me social and immersed in the writing world."

Matthew McNish ~ (Music Review) Matt, you stink, and you know I can smell you from the other side of the globe. I mean ... matey ... would you like me to investigate a decent deodorant for ya? Cause really, I would do anything to help out a good buddy like you, you know that, right? ;o)

"I'm the father of two beautiful young ladies, three lazy cats and one adorable German Shepard. Together we live in the mountains of north Georgia amidst my endless collection of vinyl records. I run this blog in an attempt to help other novice writers avoid the mistakes I made in the beginning of my road to publication. Believe me, I made many."

Please TWEET & FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!