Leave a comment, win an ARC!

To win an advance reading copy of Simply From Scratch, leave a brief comment below addressing this week’s Deb Ball topic: Ereaders such as the Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc. I’ll choose a winner (perhaps more than one winner, depending on the number of responses) at random and announce it in Sunday’s Newsflash (June 20th). Good luck! ~Alicia Bessette

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Which is which?

Each of the following five short descriptions comes from a book by a 2010 Debutante Ball author. Which Deb wrote which description? Answers later this afternoon …. A: Your husband will enter the room looking like a junkie who can’t wait for his next fix, and after being unable to quickly locate his object of desire, the search and rescue mission begins. Watch your husband toss the throw pillows haphazardly,…

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making the time

Sometimes when people learn that I write fiction full time, they say, “Wow, that takes discipline,” or, “I admire your discipline.” But really, in showing up at my desk every day, I’m no more disciplined than the person who reports to any standard job. I choose to be present to my work. Otherwise, I wouldn’t eat. I didn’t always have that attitude. When fiction writing was a hobby, it took…

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just … wow!

There are many reasons you’ll love THE WHOLE WORLD. Great sentences, for example. Like this one: “We kissed a kiss like we hadn’t since we were pissed on cheap wine and empty stomachs.” And sensuous details, such as: “Clicking heels against the wood floor, a vaporous smell of drink. I clambered out from under the smooth sheet and itchy blanket to fling myself at the woman who’d just walked in…

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Valium and a couple Oreos

My mom’s known to bust out with funny one-liners from time to time. Behold some of her recent gems … … to my sister, who was stressing out over hosting a party: “Take a Valium and eat a couple Oreos and everything’ll be fine.” … on Starbucks coffee: “The first few sips are kinda like drinking tobacco, but then it starts to taste like coffee.” … while studying her wind-tussled…

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plucky narrator, addicting book!

In Restoring Harmony sixteen-year-old Molly McClure leaves her family’s farm in Canada and travels to the United States on a quest to find her grandparents. The year is 2041, and Molly’s adventure is riddled with hardships: strangers are untrustworthy, crime runs rampant, travel is slow-going and dangerous, and both money and food are hard to come by. An excellent role model for young girls, Molly rises to meet these challenges….

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Write how people talk, but don’t write how people talk

On writing dialogue, I hear two common pieces of advice: 1. Write how people talk, because it’ll ring true on the page. 2. Don’t write how people talk, because it’ll be totally boring. I see the wisdom in both schools of thought. On the one hand, you want your characters to sound believable. On the other, you don’t want readers yawning their way through your characters’ conversations. One habit I…

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shopping in C-Wood (or: drunken goat)

I’m a fan of local shopping. Where I live, there’s plenty of opportunities to local-shop. The Collingswood Farmers Market, for example, happens every Saturday morning from May through November, a couple hundred feet from my apartment, in the commuter train parking lot. There you can buy fresh fruits and veggies from Jersey farmers, homemade honey, truly free-range eggs, just squeezed peach nectar, flowers, croissants …. The people-watching is fantastic, the…

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

As you are, you are

“Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of others; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another, for as you are, you are.” A friend recently posted the above Thomas a Kempis quote on Facebook. I thought immediately of this week’s Debutante Ball theme: reviews. To me reviews can take all different forms, not just straight-up book reviews. A verbal comment…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A new pair of ’tax from Dr. K

I have crappy vision and have worn glasses since sixth grade. I was a seventh grader when I got my first pair of contact lenses, and I’ve depended on them since. I call them my ’tax. Three years ago when I moved to Collingswood, I was happy to discover I could walk to my new eye doctor’s office, just a few blocks away. Dr. K seems like a genuinely nice…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010