Archive for the ‘contests’ Category

The Rebirth of Mrs. Tracey Higgins by Arlene Gibbs

The Rebirth of Mrs. Tracey Higgins by Arlene Gibbs

The Rebirth of Mrs. Tracey Higgins is screenwriter Arlene Gibbs’ debut novel about a reverend’s wife trying to get her life back on track when her marriage falls apart. I just loved it.

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Burnt by the Tuscan Sun by Francesca Maggi

Burnt by the Tuscan Sun by Francesca Maggi

Francesca Maggi’s Burnt by the Tuscan Sun: True Stories of Life in Italy is a series of well-crafted, funny essays that offer the reader an inside look at what it’s really like to live in the Bel Paese. Five espresso cups out of five!

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The Colors of Fall in Calabria

**This is my entry for the She Who Blogs Three Signs o’ Fall & a Photo Contest; four prizes of $25 Amazon gift certificates will be given out — two to She Who Blogs members, and two to non-members. Deadline November 13, 2010. Hurry!**

We do get some leaves changing color here, but fall in Calabria actually is quite colorful besides those warm autumnal hues I grew up with in the mountains of Pennsylvania:

Fall in Calabria on Flickr

Fall in Calabria on Flickr

1. Saffron flowers, 2. Chestnuts, 3. Persimmons, 4. Drying peperoncini, 5. Prickly zucchine, 6. Melagrane dal giardino, 7. Eggplant, 8. Hanging out, 9. Zucchine flower, 10. Lemon blossom after the rain, 11. Zucche, 12. Some of our olives in September, 13. Pomegranate seeds

Many of us expats in Italy have written about being more in touch with the seasons here than we were in our home countries, mostly because our routines are so much more ruled by what the weather is like outside. Over the past month or so, for instance, many of us have been busy gathering wood, picking olives, preserving the summer’s bounty for enjoyment all winter, and thinking about all the soups, stews, and dishes “al forno” we’ll be making for the next few months. The first “signs o’ fall” if you will.

And yes, for me, there have been other changes in the routine, like feeding the goats and locking the hens in the henhouse just a little bit earlier in the evenings and also picking back up some habits that had fallen by the wayside over a busy summer — wonderful daily commitments like yoga and working on a dusty old manuscript, and also weekend projects like finding little ways to make the house that much cozier.

We’ll be spending quite a bit of time in here in the coming months, after all.

Yes, fall here always inspires me to dig back into the good, warm, comfortable, and cozy . . . which comes first, the cooler weather or the nesting mentality? I don’t know, but I’m not complaining.

What says “fall” to you?

Remember you can still enter the She Who Blogs contest until November 13th!

7 Questions with Indie Chick Lit Author Holly Christine + Book Giveaway

Check out Tuesday Tells It Slant by Holly Christine

Today I’m welcoming author Holly Christine (@hollyrambles) to Bleeding Espresso, and the first thing I must do is apologize; her interview was supposed to have been featured here a *long* time ago, but things kept coming up in my editorial calendar that pushed it back, and I’m truly sorry. But here we are finally, so without further ado…

Holly Christine is an indie author from Pittsburgh; her third book is called Tuesday Tells it Slant and is about a girl who goes back and changes her diary, thereby changing her life. Holly is self-published, and I thought her experiences with writing and self-publishing might interest some of my readers, so let’s get started! See the end of the post for contest details.

1. Tell us a bit about Tuesday Tells it Slant.

Tuesday Tells it Slant is about one girl, one diary and one past. At the age of 23, Tuesday decides that she is tired of her past. She wants to make it into something more desirable. To do this she uses her diary. She packs away her old diary entries and transforms a new past. She becomes enviable, skinny and popular. In doing this, she loses a bit of herself with each new entry. The books flows like puzzle pieces, each narrative, poem and diary entry fitting into the larger picture of Tuesday’s real identity.

2. Where did you get the idea?

The concept itself came about, alarmingly enough, during the drive into work. John Mayer’s Who Says was playing on the radio and I was intrigued by one part of the song: Who says I can’t be free/ from all of the things that I used to be/ Rewrite my history/ Who says I can’t be free? I was thinking of a way for a character to actually rewrite their history and a diary struck me. I have always kept a diary or journal of some sort and have fought the temptation to lie in an entry or two, trying to make up a day that I wanted instead of a day that I actually had.

3. Where did you get the title?

The title came up from an Emily Dickinson poem: Tell all the truth but tell it Slant/Success in Circuit lies. It seemed fitting for the concept of the story. During my senior year of college, I studied Dickinson for an entire semester. Each chapter is divided by a Dickinson poem that relates to memory, hope and fleeing from the past.

Tuesday Tells It Slant on

Tuesday Tells It Slant on

4. As a writer myself, this is the obligatory question: What is your writing process like?

It’s disturbing. My office becomes a sort of campground; filled with ashes, post it notes and gigantic pieces of paper, all taped together to allow me to fill in the plot holes as I go along. I sit for hours, but never begin before the voice of the narrative hits my head. From there, the muse takes hold of my brain and I don’t stop until the voice stops. She’s very demanding of my time. I also write in silence, but many of my characters’ traits are inspired by music.

5. Why did you choose to self-publish?

With Tuesday Tells it Slant, I never questioned whether to self-publish or not. After I finished cleaning up the prose and editing, I almost immediately made the story available for Kindle. I wanted to know what readers thought of the tale and because it did well with Kindle sales, I made it available in paperback. Self-publishing opens many doors. It isn’t a dead end street. Major publishers later picked up many self-published authors who made their works available for Kindle: Boyd Morrison and John Rector to name two.

6. What or who inspires you as a writer?

I’m inspired by relationships and oddities. I always find mannerisms interesting and often become inspired to write when I am around crowds. It’s very interesting to sit back and observe. I’m also inspired when I’m around other writers or chatting about the writing process.

7. Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists?

I think that many will agree that in order to advance your writing skills, you have to be a comprehensive reader. I also believe in writing every day, even if it’s a bit about what happened during the day that made you happy or angry or something that someone said that stuck with you. It’s like recording life. When you think about it that way, you will develop an arsenal of writing material.


Holly has offered to give away a copy of Tuesday Tells It Slant to one lucky Bleeding Espresso reader. Just comment on this post to be eligible; follow @hollyrambles on Twitter and leave me another comment here telling me you’ve done so for an extra entry. The contest is open only to those with U.S. shipping addresses and ends on Sunday, October 17 at 11:59 p.m. CET.

Good luck!

Angela Moore Earrings + Teal Toes Polish Giveaway for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Teal Toes!As we reach the end of September and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, please remember that awareness needs to happen *year round* if we hope to conquer this so-called silent killer. If you have a blog please consider posting the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer before month’s end so your readers have this important information.

And now, the final giveaway of the month offered up by Carey Fitzmaurice of Teal Toes. You may remember reading about Teal Toes here before at Bleeding Espresso, but if not, Teal Toes is an organization dedicated to raising ovarian cancer awareness run by Carey Fitzmaurice, an ovarian cancer survivor.

Carey came up with the idea to encourage people to paint their toenails teal in September, especially because:

  • Ribbons aren’t enough.
  • It’s easy!
  • It makes your toes look pretty.
  • Teal, the ovarian cancer awareness color, is striking enough to make people ask about it.

Carey has kindly offered up a pair of Angela Moore earrings (surely you remember Angela Moore Jewelry from our first giveaway this month) and a bottle of Diamond “Don’t Teal My Heart Away” polish with the Teal Toes logo on it.

Angela Moore OCRF earrings

Angela Moore OCRF earrings


To enter for your chance to win the earrings or nail polish, leave a comment below telling me what you have done or will do to spread the word about ovarian cancer this month and/or help the cause. Even retweeting or reposting about the contests and information here count!

For an extra entry, you can “like” Teal Toes on Facebook and/or and follow @TealToes on Twitter, and then come back here and tell me you’ve done so in a separate comment. You may both “like” and follow for a total of three possible entries, but the initial comment regarding spreading ovarian cancer awareness is the mandatory entry.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CET Sunday, October 3, 2010; this drawing is open only to U.S addresses for shipping purposes. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Best of luck, and get those toes painted teal! Why yes, mine have been teal all summer long.

And remember you can always donate to the OCRF via my FirstGiving page!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time.

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
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Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
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