Posts Tagged ‘Shouting From the Roof Tops’




Sneaky Monday

Filed under: The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface

Sneaky, sneaky Monday. I was just ready to settle down for a long winter’s nap and BAM!!!! I realized tomorrow is Monday–aka blogpost day. *head thunk* And not that I don’t love my blog, but seriously I’m in a food coma right now and my lap top did that same thing it did a couple weeks ago and it just shut down Grrrrr. Yes, I’ll be hitting the Genius Bar at the Apple store ASAP! So why am I still in such a jolly mood? Well, I had a great Christmas and I’m still able to get this blog post out to you on my iPad!!!! Yeah, I’m in love. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this little baby. Think I’m going to have to name this little guy George. Unless you have a better name. :o)So, to celebrate sneaky Monday…tell me what was your favorite gift of the Holiday season.

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Shouting From the Roof Tops-DESTINED by Jessie Harrell

Filed under: Book Reviews, Touching the Surface, YA Books

I’m so excited!  Tomorrow is the Book Birthday of DESTINED by my friend Jessie Harrell.  I’m here to celebrate, introduce you to Jessie and tell you why you’re destined to buy DESTINED.

Coming November 17th from Mae Day Publishing — Pre-order on Amazon
“As he approached, I heard the flapping of wings, like an overgrown eagle. The sound dissolved when he landed at the edge of the open window. A rush of wind flew past me and extinguished the flames in the fireplace. Stars glimmered behind him but his body was encircled in black.”
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.
Here is the DESTINED Book Trailer…

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of DESTINED.

I can’t lie, but that’s okay, because I don’t want to. I’m personally vested in this book. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve shown up in the acknowledgements page of a novel. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I first met Jessie at a NY SCBWI conference and we critiqued each other’s manuscripts. I am blown away by the amazing changes that DESTINED has undergone since I first read it. Both Jessie and Psyche have traveled on quite a journey.

I have to start off with the cover, which I absolutely love. The minute I saw it, I knew that it was the perfect fit for DESTINED. I also love the fact that the book has a modern voice in an ancient setting. What a wonderful companion book this will be in the classroom. Reluctant readers of a classic tale are going to be forever grateful to have such an exciting read to help walk them through the myth. My other favorite part of the book is the maddening way that the miscommunication between the characters causes so much havoc. Too often in real life I see how incorrect assumptions can lead to drama. I think DESTINED does a wonderful job of reminding us all to think a little before we jump to conclusions.

Psyche is a sweet and strong heroine that is easy to love–much like Jessie Harrell. <3 And of course I’ve got a girlie crush on Eros.

Interview with Jessie Harrell.

First off, can you give a little bio/synopsis of you?

By day, I’m an appellate lawyer. By night, I’m a wife, mother of two, and author/lover of all things Greek mythology. I’m a native Floridian, frustrated world traveler, unrepentant dreamer, lover of acoustic music and not-so-closet geek.

How cool is this?  You and I met several years ago at a NY SCBWI Conference! Back then we were critiquing each other’s manuscripts and dreaming of having books someday.  Now here we are–both of us going to have our babies out into the world.  It really makes me smile.  Hmmm there must be a question in here somewhere…  What is the best and worst part of this journey that you’ve taken from there to here?

There’s no question that the best part of this journey has been meeting friends like you, Kim, both at conferences and online.  When I started out on this road so many years ago, I could never have imagined how amazing and supportive the YA lit community would be.  Rather than being like a big race or competition, everyone just cheers everyone else on.  It’s pretty amazing.

The worst part had to have been the waiting.  Sending query letters and waiting.  Sending partials and fulls.  Waiting some more.  Entering writing competitions.  And waiting.  I am not a patient person by nature and the process of getting Destined out into the world has actually made me more neurotic, I think, rather than less.  I’m pretty sure my compulsive e-mail-checking habit was born of the quering process.

I agree–the whole friend thing is priceless.  It’s the best!!!!  And as for waiting–yeah, that’s a killer some days.  I’m waiting on my cover and I just get a little jiggly shiver whenever I think about it. LOL!  

First I want to pick your brain about self-publishing.  I’m fascinated by the whole process and ashamed to say that I don’t think I have the discipline to be amazing in so many different areas at once.  But you and Destined are taking the world by storm and I want to hear all about it.  Can you tell me how you decided to go the self-pub route?

Awww… you make me blush.  “Amazing on so many fronts” isn’t exactly (or at all) how I would describe myself.  Trust me — I have made some bungles and wanted to pull out my hair along the way
But as far as the decision to self-publish, I actually got some great advice from Georgia McBride, who said it was obvious I wasn’t going to just “trunk” the novel, so why not self-publish it and start building a fan base while I shopping Book 2?  While I was mulling that over, I fortuitously happened across both my cover designer and the photographer/model who is now Psyche.  When the cover came together like it did, I knew there was no turning back.  That was the cover I wanted.  So with cover in hand and an ever-supportive hubby behind me, I made the leap!
See–a great cover can change the world!!!!  I think that is both smart and brave.  So, you mentioned mistakes.  Lay ’em out for us.  Ya know–so we don’t make the same ones.  *grin*
Making me air my dirty laundry in public, eh?  That’s okay.  Happy to help if I can.  Okay, for starters, don’t spend the extra money on a fancy countdown widget that allows people to pre-order your novel.  Now, I think people did like my widget and it made me happy to see it working around the blog-o-sphere, but you want to know how many pre-orders I got before my blog tour started (we’re talking a week of release)?  five.  Yes 5.  Now granted, I didn’t have it set up so you could pre-order Kindle or Nook versions (print only), but I’m pretty sure the free countdown widget would’ve served the purpose.
Ahhhh I see, this is good stuff.  Did you have someone edit for you?  I just sent back copy edits and I’m constantly amazed at how much I don’t know LOL!  How did you handle that?
I did.  I hired editors and I think if you’re going to self-publish “the right way,” this is a must. I have set aside too many Indie novels with great potential that had editing flaws that drove me nuts.  Of course, I exhausted my critique parters before turning to the content edits, so thankfully, the content editor didn’t have too many suggestions.  Except in those damned first two chapters, which I must have re-written at least 20 times in the past few years.  ARGH!  Then, after running it through another spell checker, I compiled the ARCs and had a copy editor review for typos, etc.  And he found some.  Like, there’s a line in one of Eros’ chapters where he says, “I’m pretty perfect as-is, don’t you think?”  Only instead of perfect, it says prefect.  Not a single one of my beta readers or CPs (or me in the 70 billion times I read it!) caught this typo. *face palm*  I’m happy to say you will not find that flaw in the final version now though!  And for a final check, I hired a type-setter so I’d be sure none of the final versions looked wonky, regardless of whether they were print or ebook.  So yes, it was a little pricey, but I consider it an investment in me, in myself as an author, and since I don’t have to share royalties with anyone at the end of the day, hopefully the risk will pay off.
Well worth it and I’m always amazed at how the mind plays tricks and just fills in the word that should be there.  The clock is ticking…your pub date will be here any second.  What should readers know about your book that they might not be aware of.  Come on–tell us a secret!
Hmm… a secret, huh?  Well, it’s not much of a secret as far as I’m concerned, but some readers have been surprised by the anachronistic style that Destined is written in.  (Yeah – I didn’t know that’s what I was doing – or even what the word meant – until someone told me at a writing conference.  How’s that for a secret?)  But basically, it means I’ve put together two things that you don’t normally associate together – for me, this was the ancient setting and a modern-day voice. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they were having to wade through stiff, heavy language to get my story.  Frankly, I hated that as a teen.  I wanted readers to be able to relate to Psyche and Eros immediately, regardless of the time period, so that’s why I made the choice that I did in writing it.  I also decided to make Psyche a strong character so she would be a good role model — I didn’t want the Bella Swan backlash that the historically-accurate character would’ve gotten.  Now, I’ve had a couple of reviews where the readers thought this crushed the historical accuracy, but I don’t regret the choice for a minute.  Most people seem to have enjoyed the style of writing.  And I assure you, the actual historical details were well researched.  I didn’t gloss on those just because I went with a modern voice.
I love how you used a modern voice in an ancient setting.  I was just chatting with a teen last night who was talking about how inaccessible the classics can feel.  What a wonderful way to combine the best of both worlds.  So, last question…what are you working on now?  You mentioned a book 2.  When can we expect to see it.  I have a feeling your fans are going to want more from you right away.  :o)  
First, I’m so glad you liked the modern voice in the ancient setting. Making it relatable for teens was my primary goal. 
Working on next… I co-wrote a YA novel set in modern day with Nikki Katz. It’s called Beneath the Surface and has some Greek mythological influence. I also just came up with an outline for a companion book to Destined. It will have the same modern style in an ancient setting, but will be about another couple, not Psyche and Eros. Once the Destined launch is over, I plan to dig into it!  Hopefully you’ll be seeing them soon. 
Thanks for doing the interview Kim!  I loved your format for this.  
Everyone should also know that since DESTINED is out TOMMORROW-if you make DESTINED your WOW pick of the week and link back to the entry form on Good Choice Reading, they can win one of the first official DESTINED prize packs, which includes Psyche’s ring from the cover!!!
You can find out more about Jessie Harrell and DESTINED here…

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