Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celebrating Bridget Zinn and Her Debut Novel, Poison

Bridget Zinn Author Photo Bridget Zinn was a librarian and author who, by all accounts, brought joy and optimism to the world. She was diagnosed with colon cancer right after getting married, and died at age 33, shortly after selling her debut novel, Poison.

That book released this week, and the book community (readers, librarians, authors, bloggers, family, and friends) are working hard to make that debut a success. The reviews are spectacular, and the story is one that has intrigued both me and my daughters. Well, one of my daughters. The other doesn't know it yet, but she's going to love it, too. :)
I never met Bridget, didn't even know about her until this book and the efforts of her friends came to my attention. Her story broke my heart, but the sadness was overwhelmed with respect and something light and happy. Who couldn't read about her, watch her video, without feeling that mix?

For the blog tour, we were asked to talk about firsts. Our first book, if we're authors. I did that with my fellow members of Everybody Needs a Little Romance on Tuesday, so here, I want to talk about the joy of discovering a new author.

Every time I open a book written by someone I've never read before, there's a sense of anticipation, of excitement. Just like opening a present. If the first few paragraphs are awesome, if I get immediately sucked in, my day has been made. I know I can get lost in someone else's world, experience something extraordinary, meet people I could never be cool enough to hang out with in real life.

That's exactly how I felt when I opened Poison, and I'm so very sorry there won't be others to follow.

Poison CoverAbout the Novel

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about.

Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her? Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Purchase your copy

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound iTunes Bookstore Powell's Books

About Bridget Zinn

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Bridget's (and Poison's) website A remembrance of Bridget written by her agent (with a video of Bridget that shows how vibrant and funny she was)

Bridget's path to publication—in her own words.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Romance Reviews Anniversary Party

Have you been partying with The Romance Reviews?

It's not too late! Go to the party page and jump in! Prizes galore, including one of my books if you answer my Q&A correctly today and are randomly drawn. The party goes through the end of the month!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March in Limbo

I think March is my least-favorite month. In some ways, more so than ever this year. In others, well, it's not so bad. :)

Let's start with the not-bad parts. First, I am very excited to announce that Acceptable Risks, my most recent romantic adventure from Carina Press, has won the Romantic Suspense category in the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards! I had some very stiff competition, and I'm excited and humbled by my first ever win. Huge thanks to Elizabeth Bass, my editor at Carina, for helping me do the best job I could with that book and making it worthy. :)

I was also accepted into the Published Authors Network of Romance Writers of America. That only means something to you if you're an RWA member, and it's really not that big a deal. It's a milestone that has changed over the 13 years that I've been published, and I've *finally* succeeded in meeting the minimum requirements to qualify. It gives me some professional opportunities and is hopefully a harbinger of continued growth and success.

In the "not really my good news but I played a role in it, kind of" department, Number One has been accepted by 3 of the 4 colleges/universities she's applied to. One more to go. She got a significant scholarship from her first choice, so she's just hoping the last school (which supposedly won't send acceptances until APRIL, and that's killing me!) won't do better. Easier not to have a choice to make! :)

Okay, I think that's all the good stuff. March is bleh in so many other ways. First, there's the weather. Yes, the sun is gloriously shining through my window right this moment, but that masks the 35-degree temperature and frigid winds. My husband, who now works for a garden center, says it was 79 degrees a year ago tomorrow. We were supposed to get snow today. It flurried this morning, but with every forecast, the meteorologists are more wrong this month. I think Mother Nature is laughing at them.

TV was on hiatus for most of the month. My shows are coming back this week, and thank god. It's my primary stress relief! I know, you say the "free" time can be spent writing or reading, but I only watch TV when my brain won't work anymore, and I always have or make time to read. All of the above is necessary for a balanced Natalie. :)

There have been no events in March to look forward to. April starts the local PRO team's soccer season, May is my writer's retreat and all the good movies... March is just the grind, with an occasional high moment (see above).

I'm in limbo professionally, too, waiting for edits from my editors, working on whipping projects into shape, living vicariously through other people's releases. I'm trying hard to take advantage of the lull and get a lot done before deadlines are upon me again, but I have to admit, my creative brain seems just as de-energized by March as the rest of me. :(

How many of you feel the way I do about March? If you love the month, tell me why! It might help me change my attitude. :)