Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Street Team

Hi! *waves at everyone*

So... here's something fun! I made a super secret group on Facebook for my NEW street team!

Why do I need a street team?

Well... while writing can be a solitary adventure, I simply cannot do it alone.

I need help, and I'm hoping you'll be part of my SASSY endeavor.

Here's how this works:

1. You read this and think, "Awesome! I want to help Marisa promote her books and the books of her favorite authors."

2. You message me on Facebook. "Add me to your street team!"

3. I add you.

After you're added, you will receive my undying gratitude and ways to win prizes. Very low key, but I'm just getting started.


Hi All! Please share my new cover on your Facebook pages.

Then, the cover with the most "Like"s will win a $5 Amazon gift card or a mug or a tee shirt or a tote bag or a beach ball or a book or a box of books or...

Sound like fun?

Message me on Facebook and I'll add you.

As always, thanks for being part of the Sassy Chicks!

xoxo ~Marisa

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interview: Patty Campbell

Hi All!
It's Tamara Mataya's week, and she's deep in drafting, crafting, revising, and editing for her New Adult novella available soon!
So... we grabbed author Patty Campbell and asked her some questions about her third life... and she's generously offered to giveaway one autographed copy of Jelly's Big Night Out to one random commenter from the U.S., Mexico, or Canada!
1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don't remember ever not wanting to be an author. I still have the first book I wrote at age 6. It's about a brave mouse. My mother saved it and gave it to me before she died. Maybe one day I'll expand it into a children's book.

2. What is your writing schedule like?
It varies, but I usually never miss a day. Right now I'm concentrating on selling my published books, and at the same time trying to sell three more completed manuscripts to agents and publishers. It's a slog. When I focus on a working manuscript I usually start late morning and work until late afternoon, taking a break for lunch and a stretch, then re-introduce myself to my husband at dinner. Then I might get inspired late at night and put in another hour or so. It's sounds like nothing but work, but I'm having a great time.

3. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time before you were published?
I wish I'd started earlier, but sometimes a career gets in the way.

4. How did you come up with the idea for your book [Once a Marine]?
Over a dozen years ago I saved an article from Los Angeles Times Magazine about a famous family in the fashion industry. For a long time I toyed with the idea of doing a novel about the scion of the family, their only daughter. When I finally started writing the story her executive assistant, BD James, morphed into the main character. The famous daughter became the antagonist. I met a charming man named Rafael Cruz at a reception a couple of years ago. His name inspired me to create my Marine hero. I was so in love with my Rafi it was hard for me to give him to BD.
The same magazine article spawned the idea for my first published novel, Jelly's Big Night Out. I often save articles and photos for ideas. I'm also an unrepentant eavesdropper. Just listening to strangers talk sparks a story idea.

5. How long does it take you to write a book?
About eight months once I get past the character sketches, bios and synopsis. Then I confess that I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. My characters often have ideas of their own.

6. Share with us "The Call" story.
The first "call" was actually an email. I remember staring at the contract offer while holding my breath until I nearly fell out of my chair. Then I was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy and validation. It was several minutes before I could calm down enough to tell my husband the news first - then my critique partners. It's a great feeling - I want every aspiring author to have that experience.

7. How did you get published?
Urk, it's an uphill battle getting published. A well known publisher, whose initials are HQ, had Once a Marine  for over seven months. We went back and forth all during that time, then they finally sent me a rejection. After that I sent it out to so many publishers that I lost count. Finally I offered it to the publisher who'd made that first 'call' with a contract offer for Jelly's Big Night Out, Etopia Press. They immediately got back to me with these words: Once a Marine is wonderful. We want to publish it.

8. Is there an author you haven't met who you'd really like to meet?
So many authors, so little time. I've met some of the greats, including my current favorite Kristin Higgins. What I'd really love is an hour with her, one-on-one. I've exchanged emails with Kristin, and she gave the keynote address at RWA this past summer. She's a great and generous lady, and she writes my kind of book. Books that make you laugh and cry.

9. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcover?
I read them all, but call me old fashioned - my favorite is the paperback. I read in bed at night and the hardcover hits me in the face when I fall asleep. I use my e-reader in the living room and when traveling to read my fellow authors who are published in electronic format only. I'm always reading two books at a time, sometimes three. I read everything from historical fiction to suspense to romance.

10. What do you do when you're not writing?
You mean between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.? I sleep. In reality, I put in a lot of time with my local writing group - Southwest Florida Romance Writers, my critique group, and what's left is family time.

Fast Facts:
Coffee or tea? Coffee with cream. Two cups every morning to start the motor.
Morning or night? I don't function well until about ten in the morning.
Rivers or oceans? I love water in all forms, but favor cold, rushing mountain rivers.
White wine or red? Red. Dark ruby colored, dry and fruity.
Champagne or liquor? Scotch is my poison. Champagne is a guaranteed headache.
Laptop or desktop? Desktop. I need the old 'clicking' keyboard.
Casual or couture? Casual. Couture went to Goodwill when I sold my business.
Ponytail or headband? Neither for me.
Shower or bath? Shower.
Summer or winter? Winter.
Motorcycle or bicycle? I like a man on a motorcycle, but I don't like me on either one.
Want to read Patty's bio? Click HERE to find out more about her third life (so far).
Click HERE to buy ONCE A MARINE from Amazon.

Don't forget to comment for your chance at winning an autographed copy of Jelly's Big Night Out!
Don't know what to say? Ask Patty another question, tell us your favorite genre, or answer one of the Fast Facts for yourself!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fifty Shades of Casting

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson on the cover of Entertainment Weekly 11/22/13
Photo credit: Jessica Lemmon 2013 
While I haven't purposely followed the Fifty Shades of Grey movie casting, it did manage to leak over into my field of vision (as most pop culture does). Whether you're a fan of the kinky love fanfic series or not, how can you not be mildly curious about how Universal Pictures and Focus Features are going to pull this off?

So to speak.

I've only read the first book in the series. And, not to sound like a hipster, but I read it before anyone knew what it was. True story. A friend of mine called and said, "I'm consumed with this book and have no one to talk about it with because no one has read it yet!" (Is that not the funniest thing you've ever heard of now that we know what an EXPLOSION this has been?) Then she offered to "share" it on her Kindle. Yes, it was even shareable at the time. 

I read the book in four days, a combination of what I like to call "appalled and intrigued". I'm not sure if I was intrigued because I was appalled or appalled because I was intrigued. Unlike many who complain about how "badly written" this book is, it didn't bother me in the least. I think it might now that I've been through the rigors of editing my own books, but at the time, as an unpublished reader, it didn't bug me. Also, I read it free from any hype, any preconceived notions, any input from the outside. 

Like the book's lead character, Anastasia, I, too was pure.

While I admit without any shame that I liked the book, I didn't love it. By the end of the book when [SPOILER ALERT] Ana suffers the spankings to end all spankings and leaves Christian [END SPOILER ALERT], I was as fed up as she was. He simply couldn't be redeemed for me at that point. 

I still amend this is a good read if you want to have a pulse on what EVERYONE is talking about, and I very much do. As a professional romance author, all of us in this business owe a huge thanks to E.L. James (if not Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame who sparked James's novels) for putting romance on the map. Many, many readers have picked up this book and discovered that romance was no longer "only" for grandma and her books-by-mail subscriptions. 

On a personal note, I have Fifty Shades of Thanks to give to James. Because of her very popular novels, Tempting the Billionaire has probably gotten a bit more attention. Billionaires have become all the rage (and as you know if you read Harlequin, they always have been). While I never promised spankings and red rooms of pain, virginal heroines, or a control-freak, hair-pulling hero, readers don't seem to mind. They find my hero, Shane August refreshing. 

Love them or hate them, Fifty Shades has made a mark on our society. Will I check out the movie? You know, I probably will. Especially now that Charlie Hunnam (gratuitous Pinterest board HERE) has declined starring in the film. Thank goodness. This only so much this girl's heart can take.

Jessica Lemmon writes sassy, sexy contemporary romance with a squeeze of humor. She blogs on this site on rotation with the other Sassy Chicks. You can find out more at, LIKE her at, and tweet her in 140-character bursts on Twitter: @lemmony