For many writers, November 1 marks the start of NaNoWriMo, a month-long write-a-thon whereby the ultimate challenge and victory is to complete 50,000 words.
But for Jessica Bell, an Australia-born author living in Greece, November is the beginning of a massive blog tour in support of her stunning literary debut, String Bridge. The novel releases today by Lucky Press.
Perhaps it is her readers and fans who are the lucky ones.
"Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits, and she realizes she's been seeking fulfillment in the wrong place."
On November 8, 2011 I've scheduled an interview with Jessica, but even a quick skim of her website will tell you a lot about her – she’s passionate, nurturing, beautiful, and freaking talented. Not only can she write – and believe me, Jessica CAN write – she is also a brilliant musician, even composing and producing a soundtrack for this novel.
It’s not shocking then, that the underlying thread of String Bridge is music. Even the writing is lyrical. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph is strung together like fine poetry, creating the vivid imagery that is vital in bringing the story – and of course the characters – to life.
Melody is a protagonist many women will relate to. There’s no debating that she’s made some difficult life choices, giving up music being the most affective. It's important to note that she made these choices of her own accord. Like many women, Melody sacrifices a dream – or what she believes to be the dream, and the story is not so much about “what if” but rather the consequences of making a tough choice and then learning to find her happily-ever-after.
You will either begin by loving or hating Melody – because Jessica’s writing has the ability to make you feel. Loss, pain, elation, hope…Melody runs the gambit in Jessica's ambitious first book, and at each emotional crossroads, I believed the author and empathized with the protagonist. From page 1, I was on Team Melody, even when I sometimes shook my head at her decision process.
If you love Melody, you will adore her daughter Tessa, and loathe her husband Alex. The threads of their complex relationships are woven through a spider web of innocence, desire and guilt. In this difficult balancing act of being a mother, a wife, and a dreamer, it is no wonder Melody feels trapped.
Make no mistake though, this story is neither cliché nor boring. The plot twists are surprising, and often heart wrenching – but always page-turning.
Though String Bridge is Jessica’s first novel, there is nothing amateur about her craft. Character, plot, and the rich exotic setting meld into a literary debut that will leave you spellbound.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/String-Bridge-ebook/dp/B005Y48DF6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319370801&sr=8-1
Amazon.com: (Coming soon)
Amazon UK: (Coming soon)
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Melody-Hill-Other-Side/dp/B005P7G02A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317118484&sr=8-1
String Bridge Website: http://www.stringbridge.com/
String Bridge Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv-hRMA0kqQ
String Bridge Merchandise: http://www.cafepress.com/janicephelps/8155170
retreat & workshop site: http://hwrw.blogspot.com/