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Winner of Wingbeat by Marilyn Meredith


Out of 41 entrants, Congrats go to Carla!

She’s won a copy of Wing Beat by Marilyn Meredith.

About the book:

Tempe Crabtree, resident deputy of Bear Creek, a small community in the southern Sierra, as once again finds herself torn between loyalty to her minister husband, her job, and her Native American heritage. The wingbeat of an owl–a harbinger of danger…Suspicious newcomers and a hidden marijuana farm…A false accusation, shaken faith, a grandfather’s heartache…And murder.

Carla, I hope you enjoy the book; please email me your mailing address and we will get it right to you. Thanks to all who entered the contest.

***Don’t forget about my next contest for The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel. Enter now!

Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel & Contest

I received The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel from Book Club Girl, who will be hosting a book discussion with the author on Oct. 22 at 7 PM. For those of you have read the book, I encourage you to join the discussion in the chat room or on the phone lines. Here’s the call in number: (347) 945-6149. ***Delaune Michel just indicated that the girls on the cover are girls that she knows, daughters of her editor and another employee at Harper Collins. The photo was taken on the spur of the moment at a local park. How adorable!***

This novel takes the reader on a fluctuating journey between Louisiana and Los Angeles with two friends, Patricia, a semi-famous actress, and Fiona, her less-famous friend. The work examines the secrets that are told to friends, about friends, and to spouses about friends and how those secrets impact long-term relationships. Fiona has grown up with Patricia and they move to Los Angeles to become actresses and escape their abusive home lives. Their lives have diverged a bit, with Fiona still starring in independent films and guest star roles, while Patricia has hit the big time as a host of a popular reality show and is primped and ready for every occasion. The distance in their relationship has grown and so have the number of secrets between them.

The narration told from Fiona’s point of view moves in and out of the past so quickly, the reader can easily get lost. I often reread passages of this book looking for signs of where I was in Fiona’s life, whether it was her past miscarriage or her a haircut she got against her mother’s wishes when she was a pre-teen. In spite of the narration, the story unfolded in a suspenseful way. Patricia’s continued lack of support for her friend Fiona and her self-centered behavior darkens the friendship and leaves Fiona feeling left out and abandoned by her long-time friend. Overall, both of these characters represent the perception of typical Los Angeles actresses who are worried about wearing the right clothes, meeting the current mold for the latest television roles, and what others are thinking about them.

The book doesn’t reach its pinnacle until late in the work when one of the deepest, darkest secrets between Fiona and Patricia is revealed on national television and it places their friendship under significant pressure.

Also Reviewed By:
Everyday I Write the Book Blog
Literate Chick
Bertram’s Blog (guest post from Delaune Michel)
Books on the Brain

Redlady’s Reading Room
Peeking Between the Pages

***Another giveaway from Savvy Verse & Wit.

Deadline is Oct. 29 at Midnight EST.

1. Leave a comment on the post for one entry
2. Blog about or spread the word about the contest and leave a link on my review post for another entry.
3. Also provide me with a way to contact you either through email or your blog address.

***Just another reminder that the contest for Marilyn Meredith’s WingBeat ends on Oct. 22. So hurry and enter the contest.

Kindred Spirits by Marilyn Meredith, Interview & Giveaway

Thanks to Cheryl at Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Marilyn Meredith for sending this great mystery book, Kindred Spirits, my way. Keep reading to learn about the giveaway.

Kindred Spirits is part of the Tempe Crabtree Series, and Tempe is a deputy in Bear Creek, who is part Native American and married to a Christian minister Hutch Hutchinson. Her police counterparts in Dennison don’t seem to take her seriously, even though she takes care of business in Bear Creek and beyond.

The main case in this mystery is the death of Vanessa Ainsworth, formerly the wife of Acton Ainsworth, a major furniture shop owner and philanthropist. While a wildfire rages in Bear Creek, displacing many residents, Deputy Crabtree and firemen discover a body–Vanessa Ainsworth–after having contained much of the fire. Crabtree is on the case even when her legal counterparts push her to the sidelines. She’s quickly sent to speak with Vanessa’s family and friends in Crescent City, which is when the real twists and turns begin. You’ll meet some intriguing characters along the way, including my personal favorite, the trench coat, VW bus driving Lanny Hargrove.

The twists and turns in this novel will keep you guessing most of the way, but even if you figure out who the killer is before Tempe and the other detectives do, the way Meredith meshes in Tempe’s troubled marriage and her questions about her heritage will keep you interested. What worked best for me about this novel is the evolution of Hutch from the beginning to the end; he grows even more compassionate and grows to understand the importance of Tempe’s drive to find the truth. He also learns to open his heart to issues and situations he normally would disapprove of, fear, and dismiss. Tempe is easy to love and her drive to discover the truth is addicting.

I’d like to thank Marilyn Meredith for taking the time to answer a few questions about her writing process, and to thank Cheryl at Pump up Your Book Promotion for sending Kindred Spirits and putting me in contact with Marilyn Meredith. Without further ado, here’s Marilyn:

1. Was there a great deal of research involved in terms of the Tolowa and the other Indian tribes and the tinges of discrimination found in the novel?

The book came about because I met a Tolowa woman four years ago when I was giving a workshop at a writers conference in Crescent City. We spent a couple of hours together before a booksigning event held in the Gushu Galleria–a real place that’s in the book.

In merely a few minutes as she told me about herself, her life as an Indian, some of the history of the Tolowa and a few legends, I knew I had to write a book that included some of this information. My first thought was Tempe has to meet a woman like her.

I grew up in California and never heard anything about the Indians like I was hearing from her. However, I do live quite near our local reservation, have met quite a few Yokuts, and had researched their history so was well aware of the discrimination and prejudice the Indians have faced.

I also did more research about the Tolowa as I was writing, but Junie Mattice, the Tolowa woman in Crescent City was my major resource for Kindred Spirits.

2. What character do you most identify with and why?

I don’t identify with any of the characters in the way that you mean. As I’m writing, I get inside the head of whoever I’m writing about. I know Tempe Crabtree better than I know anyone in my family because I know how she thinks. Tempe Crabtree lives inside my head whether I’m writing about her or not.

I’ve lived for a long, long time, had many experiences–good and bad–and I do draw on them as well as the emotions that go along with them.

3. Could you explain the significance of your title, Kindred Spirits, in terms of the plot, characters, or themes in the novel?

Kindred Spirits just seemed to be the perfect title. Some titles reveal themselves almost immediately as this one did. I recognized Junie as a kindred spirit not long after we began talking to each other. We kept in contact via email through the years and I told her what I was writing and she answered questions I had. The book launch was held in Crescent City and she signed books right along with me. It was a special time for both of us.

In the book, Tempe realizes she is a kindred spirit to the two Tolowa women in the Crescent City part of the story. And then, I also thought of the ghost of the murdered woman as being another kindred spirit. There are several books with the same title, which I knew, but Kindred Spirits was definitely my only choice.

4. Do you have a set writing routine? Do you get up early and start writing or do you write when the mood hits?

When I am working on a book (which is nearly always) I try to work on it at least three or four hours a day–and mornings are best–unless I’m on a roll, then I might just keep plugging away.

5. Do you have any advice for writers just starting out?

Learn the writing craft by going to writers conferences, reading books on writing, reading the kind of books you hope to write, then write, write, write.

6. What are your favorite rewards for reaching your writing goals and why?

I always feel terrific once I’ve actually finished a book, had it edited and send it off to a publisher. Of course then it means I have to get busy on the promotion.

7. Are you working on any other projects, and if so would you care to tantalize my readers with a few hints?

My next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is scheduled to come out a year from now. It’s titled “Dispel the Mist.” Tempe has an encounter with the Hairy Man, who is similar to Big Foot. I loved writing that book.

Want to win a copy of the latest Tempe Crabtree novel, Wingbeat, which is a book about a hidden marijuana farm and the murder of a long lost granddaughter that keep Tempe busy, while her husband has troubles of his own–when the description of a man who exposes himself to school children sounds just like Hutch.

1. Leave a comment here about what you found most interesting about the book or the interview

2. Blog about the contest on your own blog or spread the word in another way and leave me a comment with a link to where you posted it.

If you don’t have a blog or another way for me to contact you, PLEASE leave an email address or you will not be counted for the contest. Thanks!

Deadline for the contest will be Oct. 22 at Midnight EST.

Also Reviewed By:

Bermudaonion

Winner–A Grave in the Air

Out of 20 entrants into my giveaway, Betty R. of Simply Southern–The Way it Was–and Will Be Again!

I will email Betty to let her know about her good fortune. She will soon be the proud owner of A Grave in the Air by Stephen Henighan!

Congrats to Betty.

A Grave in the Air & Contest

I received A Grave in the Air by Stephen Henighan from Mini Book Expo for Bloggers, and it took a long time to get to my mailbox from Thistledown Press in Canada. When it finally arrived I was happy to begin reading. I’ve often loved reading novels and short stories that show how war can impact families, relationships, and societies. Although the short stories often do not provide the reader with in-depth war strategy and in-the-moment events, whether it is World War II or the Bosnian-Serbian conflict of the 1990s, the impact of war is palatable in the lives of the characters Henighan created.
The book of short stories starts off with “The Killing Past,” which examines the impact of an aunt’s story about a family’s ancestor on her nephew Bartholomew. The obsession it becomes for Bart is phenomenal.

In “Miss Why,” Agnieszka is an inquisitive youth growing up in Poland at a time when the nation is moving away from socialism toward more Western ideals. While she struggles to find her place in society, she meets a man with a similar outlook on the Western ideals taking over their society. It was interesting to see how they coped with the transformation of their society, though there really was no resolution in this short story, which left me a bit disappointed.

“Duty Calls” follows Tibor, who is recently divorced, and his relationship with a woman he has not seen in many years and his disillusionment with himself since his divorce. This story is not very uplifting, but it does deal with how a man, who sees himself as an outsider, will act to gain acceptance.

In “Beyond Bliss,” which was my favorite of the short stories, Vivian compromises her integrity to get what she wants. To help her friend, Ray, build his publishing house in Canada, she gains the trust of Erich, a controversial author. Vivian, another character who feels like an outsider in Canada because she is British, uses her ambition to find her place in the world.

I also really enjoyed “A Sense of Time,” “Freedom Square,” and “Nothing Wishes to Be Different” because they show the reader a series of relationships that change between former students at university because of a single event, a relationship between a mother and daughter because of the daughter’s summer job, and the relationships between a father and mother and their children when the father makes one fateful and personal decision about his own life.

While this is not one of my favorite short story collections, it does have a great deal going for it. It examines how war in the present and past can have an impact on someone, even if they are not directly involved in a conflict. Some of the characters are quirky and bit out there, but others are carefully nuanced.

Dear Readers, I would love to give away my copy of A Grave in the Air by Stephen Henighan to one lucky winner. Please leave a comment here if you wish to enter the contest. Deadline is Oct. 10 at Midnight EST. I will announce the winner on Oct. 11. If you blog about this contest, you get 2 more entries.

Final BBAW Winners Are. . .


Sandy of Mom Forever and Ever is the winner of the one-year subscription to Writer’s Digest! Congratulations!

Jeannie of I Like to Be Here When I Can is the winner of Writing the Wave by Elizabeth Ayres! Congratulations!

Anna from Diary of an Eccentric and I hope this won’t be our last joint giveaway!

We actually have a joint challenge project in the works. . . We promise to let you know all about it once the details are all worked out.

However, while we’re on the subject, Is there is anyone out there who can help us make a banner and some blog buttons, please contact Anna at diaryofaneccentric [AT] hotmail [DOT] com or myself at savvyverseandwit [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Winners of Writing in Metaphor and Imagery for Book Blogger Appreciation Week


Here are the winners, thanks to Randomizer.org

1. Contest Winner for Allan Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems is. . .
TEABIRD

2. Contest Winner for Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind is . . .
TERRI

3. Contest Winner for a Subscription to Poetry magazine is. . .
ICEDREAM

4. Contest Winner for Sylvia Plath’s Ariel is. . .
GAUTAMI

I will contact you via email for snail mail addresses, but if you see this before you get my email, feel free to send along your address to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Congrats to the winners. Thanks to everyone who entered. It has been a fun week. Check out the latest joint contest I have running with Diary of an Eccentric; to enter go here. You can win a subscription to Writer’s Digest.

Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

Day 4 of Writing in Metaphor and Imagery for Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Today, I want to introduce you to Sylvia Plath, who was more than a poet. She was a novelist and a short story writer as well. One of the first works I read by her was The Bell Jar, which illustrates the mental breakdown of a young woman and is often considered autobiographical. For the longest time, this was the only work I knew of hers. Many have viewed her poetry as confessional, mirroring the poetic works of Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell. Confessional poems often highlight unflattering aspects of a poet’s personal life, whether it is illness, sexuality, or depression.

Ariel is one collection of her poems, it was published after her death along with several others. The only collection of her poems, despite her prolific pen, that was published during her life was Colossus. Shortly after publishing The Bell Jar, Plath committed suicide with the help of her gas oven.

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite poems from Ariel, which was published in Poetry Magazine, a subscription of which is up for grabs here. Here are a few of my favorite lines from the poem.

Fever 103°

Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.

Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.

And now for the contest:

To enter for 1 copy of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel leave a comment here about Sylvia Plath, any Plath poem you know, or anything else poetry related.

For an additional entry, please blog about this contest and leave me the link to your post or email 5 friends about the contest and cc savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Another friendly reminder about these contests:

1. Diary of an Eccentric is holding a contest for The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Deadline is Sept. 30

2. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding a contest for Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg as the first contest for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding another contest for “A Coney Island of the Mind” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as part of BBAW; Deadline is Sept. 19

4. Bookish Ruth’s contest for The Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Phillip Pullman

5. Savvy Verse & Wit’s contest for a 1-year subscription to Poetry magazine. Deadline is Sept. 19

Please also double-check the growing list of giveaways at My Friend Amy’s blog.

Deadlines for all of my BBAW contests will be Sept. 19, Midnight EST.

Marketing the Poet

Day 3 of Writing in Metaphor and Imagery for Book Blogger Appreciation Week

In the age of the Internet, it is no wonder that book publishers are looking to the myriad housewives, students, professionals, and other bloggers to promote their authors’ books through reviews, interviews, guest posts, and virtual book tours. The 21st century provides businesses with a unique opportunity to directly access their customers through blogs, social networks, and other means on the Internet. As a poet, I’ve thought of the Internet as a level playing field for writers, allowing poets the same access to the public as fiction and nonfiction authors.

While writers of fiction and nonfiction are familiar with marketing their own work to the masses, I’ve noticed that poets are not as comfortable publicizing their own work. However, perhaps growing up with access to the Internet has enabled me to see the potential of growing the readership base of poetry. Up until recently poetry has circulated in college and university English courses and among academics in their “ivory” towers, but more and more contemporary poetry is bleeding into general audiences from poetry slams to online journals. Despite poetry’s elitist reputation, the form continues to evolve and reach new audiences. Spoken word poets are taking their poems to the streets, local events, bars, literary festivals, and other venues, and some poets focused on the written form are submitting to online rather than print journals.

The American Academy of Poets, for example, embraces the Internet by offering audio readings and videos of poets in conversation, spotlighting different artists periodically. There also is a list of events online, and each state has its own dedicated poetry page. The academy will even send those who sign up a new poem once per day to their email. In addition to the groups online striving to widen the audience for poetry by embracing technology, poets themselves are getting into the groove. Arlene Ang is one contemporary poet using the Internet to market her work, which you can see here and here. Meanwhile, the U.S. Poet Laureate position has gained ground in the media; I didn’t start noticing the poet laureate until about 1997 when Robert Pinsky was named, but with each passing year I’ve noticed each new poet laureate take the office with greater zeal, spotlighting poetry as an art worthy of attention by general audiences. Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Poetry 180—a poem a day for American High Schools—aim to have one poem read in a public forum at high schools willing to participate in the program, but how the poem is applied is up to the school. Students, teachers, staff members, and others can read the poems out loud, but discussion is not necessary. According to Billy Collins, “The most important thing is that the poems be read and listened to without any academic requirements. The point is to expose students to some of the fresh voices in contemporary poetry.”

I’ve been blogging for about three years, though only for little over one year at Savvy Verse & Wit, but I am dedicated to including poetry book reviews and other items about poetry on my blog to broaden the audience for poets. The goal of the site is to incorporate poetry during National Poetry Month, which is every April, by discussing poetic forms, new poets worthy of recognition, or posting poetry book reviews. Eventually, interviews from poets could be used to highlight how poets are very similar to fiction and nonfiction writers in terms of their process and struggles to get published. Poets are down-to-earth people tackling emotions, themes, and inner and external struggles, much like prose writers. The Internet is a powerful tool that poets and writers alike must grab onto and mold to meet their purpose, exposing the widest audience possible to their art.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Contest:

Leave a comment on this post to enter to win a 1-year subscription to Poetry magazine, which has one translation issue per year, poems, and short stories. In the comments tell me one thing you love about poetry and one thing you dislike about poetry or share a couple lines from your favorite poem. Deadline is Sept. 19, Midnight EST.

Another friendly reminder about these contests:

1. Diary of an Eccentric is holding a contest for The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Deadline is Sept. 30

2. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding a contest for Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg as the first contest for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding another contest for “A Coney Island of the Mind” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as part of BBAW; Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Book Club Girl has a new contest today as well.

4. Bookish Ruth’s contest for The Sally Lockhart Mysteries by Phillip Pullman

Please also double-check the growing list of giveaways at My Friend Amy’s blog.

Deadlines for all of my BBAW contests will be Sept. 19, Midnight EST.

Publicity–Traditional Vs. Blog Publicity


I wanted to alert everyone to a fantastic article on My Friend Amy’s blog from an online publicist, Lisa Roe, regarding the differences between traditional and book blogging publicity.

I want all of you to go over there to check it out and make some comments, generate some discussion.

Another friendly reminder about these contests:

1. Diary of an Eccentric is holding a contest for The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Deadline is Sept. 30

2. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding a contest for Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg as the first contest for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding another contest for “A Coney Island of the Mind” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as part of BBAW; Deadline is Sept. 19

3. Book Club Girl has a new contest today as well.

Please also double-check the growing list of giveaways at My Friend Amy’s blog.

Winner of Mrs. Lieutenant

And the winner of Mrs. Lieutenant by Phyllis Zimbler Miller is Alyce of At Home With Books, who I have discovered through this contest and Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

I have sent an email to you for an address, and Ms. Miller will send the book directly to you. Thanks to all the participants.

Here’s a couple of contest reminders:

1. Diary of an Eccentric is holding a contest for The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Deadline is Sept. 30

2. Savvy Verse & Wit is holding a contest for Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg as the first contest for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Deadline is Sept. 19

Please also double-check the list of giveaways that continues to grow at My Friend Amy’s blog.

Lookie!


I won the “Sweet Life” gift basket on Book Room Reviews not too long ago, and I wanted to share with everyone all the goodies I received. Thanks to Tracy for holding the contest and to Mia King for her generosity. My husband is already claiming all of the macadamia nuts.

I just love the basket and the ribbon, the ribbon especially is a scrapbooker’s dream–so shimmery. I was so excited when the UPS man came, that I barely contained my enthusiasm to take the photo of the package before I dismantled it. The first thing I did, after checking for Mia’s signature on the books, was eat one of the delectable chocolate covered shortbread cookies. Yummy!

Thanks again to Tracy at Book Room Reviews. I love visiting her blog and I love her contests. You should check her out, here!

***Don’t forget to enter my contest for a signed copy of Mrs. Lieutenant by Phyllis Zimbler Miller. Deadline is Sept. 14.

1. leave a comment on the post here to get one entry
2. publicize the contest on your blog, Facebook, wherever and leave a link here to earn one more entry per post
3. Comment on the My Review of the book, here, and receive TWO entries.

You’re running out of time, so hurry.

Also: Check out Diary of an Eccentric for Anna’s giveaway of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice and The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Deadline Sept. 30