Garden of Memory Now Available

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Today, I’m thrilled to announce the release of my sweet contemporary novella, Garden of Memory. Available NOW exclusively on  Amazon Kindle, this title will be available wherever eBooks are sold starting on December 11, 2013. Garden of Memory is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Book Description: Prince Raffaele Salvatore wants to grant his father’s dying wish. The problem is the princess he is supposed to marry has been missing for years. The sudden appearance of an American woman who bears a remarkable resemblance to his vanished betrothed fills him with suspicion. Anna Bennett escapes her controlling uncle to visit Monferinna and discover if the garden of her dreams is real. Instead, she discovers a handsome prince, a crazy betrothal tale, and a world beyond her wildest imagination. If she is the missing princess, will their marriage be one of duty or of love?

I hope you’ll consider reading Anna and Raffaele’s story, and if you do, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to receive a signed postcard with the image of the book’s cover, please leave a comment below with your name and snail mail addy.

Happy reading!

Kalliope Bell

Step by Step Art Journal Entry

One of the ways I keep my creativity flowing is by working with mixed media. Somehow, getting lost in the process of painting and pasting feeds my writerly creativity. Plus, it’s lots of fun. Today, I wanted to share an art journal entry from start to finish. An art journal isn’t meant to be perfect; it’s simply a place to play.

My sketchbook isn’t designed for mixed media, so I glued sets of two pages together to create a heavier base for my mixed media work. I used Mod Podge, but you can also use glue or gel medium.

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Apply an even coat of gesso to your journal pages. Let dry. Sand lightly with sandpaper block.

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Apply paint colors of your choice. I used Quindicrone Azo Gold (Golden Fluid Acrylic) and Turquoise (Golden Fluid Acrylic).

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I dabbed the wet paint with a paper towel to give a textured look to the background. I then added more texture with bubble wrap and stencils (not shown).

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I sketched a face and torso onto an old paperback romance page, then cut out the drawing.

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I selected a scrapbook paper for her dress.

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I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper to layer beneath the face. This will prevent the color of the background from showing through on her face.

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I pasted the paper pieces to the background using Golden Regular Matte Gel Medium.

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I spread an even layer of the gel medium on top of the paper pieces to seal them.

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I added a cut-out of a heart to her dress, then I began painting her face using fleshtone acrylic paint.

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I painted her hair with black acrylic. The paint, Golden Carbon Black, has a wonderful glossy finish.

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I pounced white acrylic (Liquitex Basics) over a stencil on the facing page.

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I pasted an old paperback page and added dots with bubble wrap.

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I continued painting the girl’s features. The dots in the background were created by dripping Golden Quindicrinone Azo Gold paint onto the page.

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With soft pastels, I added color to her cheeks and shading around her hair. I used paint and a small brush to paint the words. Once dry, I protected the pages with a thin layer of gel medium.

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To keep the pages of my journal from sticking together, I spread a thin layer of Dorland’s Wax Medium over each finished page.

I’m adding new artwork to my Etsy shop each day. I’d love for you to stop by and have a look at my mixed media paintings. Find me at TrendaMarieOriginals.

How do you keep your creative juices flowing? I’d love to hear from you!

Bright Blessings,

Kalliope

One Skein Crochet Wonders – A Book Review

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One Skein Crochet Wonders – 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World (by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman)

Crocheting is a fun, relaxing, and satisfying hobby, and I (like other yarn lovers) have oodles of skeins of yarn in my stash. But what to do with all that yummy yarn? One Skein Crochet Wonders has the answer…101 answers, actually.

With projects for all types of thread and yarn, this book will be your go-to volume for fabulous one-skein projects you’ll love to make, use, and give. The book is divided into seven sections: Thread, Lace Weight, Super-Fine Weight, Fine Weight, Light Weight, Medium Weight, and Bulky Weight.

Whip up unique, guaranteed-to-win-compliments jewelry like the Burgundy Lace Hoops, Butterfly Necklace, Beady Bangles, or a Beaded Lariat.Use lace weight yarn to create a Bristleberry Scarf or a Shell Net Cowl.  The Bead Crochet Mesh Mobius is a wearable work of art featuring beaded picot edging.

Enjoying Super-Fine Weight yarn? You’ll love the five scarves showcased in this section. Why stop at scarves? From the elegant Autumn Leaves Shawlette to the French Toast with Maple Sugar Jacket, you’ll find instructions for creating an array of beautiful wearables. You’ll even discover two projects for 18″ doll clothes!

Throughout this book, you’ll find many projects for gloves, jewelry, scarves, baby gifts, and countless other crocheted beauties. If you love to crochet, you’ll adore One Skein Crochet Wonders.

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided this book for me to review via NetGalley.

Breezier, Cheesier, Newest & Bluest – A Book Review

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Breezier, Cheesier, Newest & Bluest: What Are Comparatives and Superlatives? (written by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Brian Gable)

From the book jacket: “What Are Comparatives and Superlatives? After reading this book, you’ll have a much clearer idea and will be the best at forming these descriptive words. Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable explain how these forms of adjectives compare nouns, through the cleverest rhymes and illustrations that are sillier than ever. Each comparative or superlative word is printed in color for easier identification.

I selected this book to review because I homeschool my son and hoped the rhymes would make grammar lessons lots of fun. I was right! This book is a joy, and my son and I enjoyed reading it together. Gable’s brightly colored illustrations are quirky and fun, bringing extra whimsy to Cleary’s delightful rhymes.

Breezier, Cheesier, Newest & Bluest explains the difference between comparative and superlative adjectives and shows young readers how to make these descriptive words on their own. The author also includes explanations for the usage of “more” and “most.”

If you and your child want the silliest, funniest, most entertaining book for learning how to form comparative and superlatives adjectives, pick up a copy of Breezier, Cheesier, Newest & Bluest.

Published by Millbrook Press

 

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided this book for my review via NetGalley.

Amethyst Refrain

Hello, dearies!

Popping in with a quick update on my writing journey. I’m waiting on revision instructions for my first novella from my lovely editor…should be here anytime now…and yes, I’m stalking my inbox.

I submitted a query to my editor for Love Letters for Bess. I do hope she wants to see the full manuscript. I adore this story. Such charming characters, and dear Bess’s backstory is very similar to my own past, so she has a special place in my heart. As for Andreas, well, he’s simply divine.

Remember the short story I started at the beginning of the week? Well, the darling is complete and resting happily in a TWRP Faery Rose editor’s inbox. I should have an answer on “Amethyst Refrain” within the next sixty days. “Amethyst Refrain” is a paranormal romance between a spunky psychic and her scrumptious Guardian.

Meet Lily and Edgar. Aren’t they adorable?

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Must scurry back to work now. Time to brainstorm a new story.

Bright blessings,

Kalliope

 

Love Letters for Bess

Hello, lovelies! I do hope you’ve had a gorgeous week. Here in northeast Mississippi, last week started off dreadfully gray and cold, but the sun finally showed himself on Friday. Truly, I’d forgotten what the dear thing looked like!

Happy news! I’ve finished my novella (20K) featuring Bess Larson and Andreas Salvatore, best friends to the heroine and hero in my TWRP (The Wild Rose Press) contracted manuscript.

The title of this story is Love Letters for Bess and centers not only on the blooming relationship between Bess and Andreas, but also on her journey to healing from trauma.

At times, it felt as if this book was writing itself. Other times, I had to force myself to move my fingers across the keyboard. Why? Because the themes of healing and recovering from trauma are mine, too, as they are very much a part of my life story. Hard as it is to write about such truths, it is necessary we do so.

As Cheryl Rainfield, stellar author of Scars, Hunted, and Parallel Visions, tweeted yesterday, “We need lots of voices speaking out about trauma.”

I sent a query to my editor yesterday morning, requesting she consider Love Letters for Bess for the Sweetheart Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. Fingers crossed she’ll want to see the complete manuscript.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to her suggestions for revisions for my first novella, which I will have in hand by Thursday of this week. I’ve also started writing a short story, a paranormal romance targeted to TWRP’s Faery Rose line. The opening scene of this story was a finalist in Stella Cameron’s Scarlet Boa contest eons ago, but I abandoned the poor dear after the end of the contest. Now, I’ve dusted her off and have set about finishing the story. Back to writing, I go!

Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

Kalliope

The Perils of Pantsing

Yes, I confess, dearies, I’m a pantser not a plotter. Oh, I’ve tried to be a plotter, but a girl is who she is, hmm? *winks*

This week, I’ve been trotting along with the new WIP and absolutely loving the story and the characters. Yesterday morning, my word count was 13K, so my goal for the day was to write 2K. Nuh-uh. Didn’t happen. I stalled at 14,301 and have no idea what happens next. *sighs* Actually, I did write the ending of the story, so I need to find out what happens in between…that’s right…the middle…the middle has me stumped.

I know I need to spend more time in Andreas’s head, but I want the scene to evolve organically from his character rather than something I foist upon him. I’ve spent a good deal of time in Bess’s POV, and I feel she’s very well fleshed out, but Andreas needs more screen time, so to speak.

Perhaps a bit of Googling Christian Bale is in order, hmm? Ah, yes, I’m feeling ever so much better now. ;-)

ImageI do believe I know where to go next with the story. Thank you, Google images! Best get back to writing…

Have a lovely day!

Bright Blessings,

Kalliope

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