Hi gang! To celebrate the re-release of my OUTLANDER-like novel DRAWN with its new cover, I’m doing a giveaway over at Goodreads.com. Starting today through the end of May, you can enter to win one of 5 free signed copies. To enter, just click here.
Here’s what the book’s about:
Michelle De Freccio moves with her dad to England, where she hopes for a more normal life. Instead she discovers a handsome guy appearing in all her sketches. When she actually meets him at the town’s castle, she’s unmistakably drawn to him. But something is definitely not normal.
He wears medieval garb, talks of ancient murders, and tends to disappear with a kiss. Could he be a ghost? Could Michelle be losing her mind? Or has she simply uncovered a love so timeless it’s spanned the centuries…
I’m SO very grateful to DRAWN’s many fans who have praised this novel with 5 star reviews and to the book bloggers who have awarded it top honors and high praise, including “Best Book” (Long and Short Reviews) and “Top Pick” (Night Owl Reviews), and have called it “breathtaking” (Moonlight Book Reviews), “epic and gorgeously written” (InD’Tale Magazine), “Loved it all! …one truly EPIC read!” (Book Love 101), and said, “…this book deserves to be shouted about from the rooftops! The author’s imagination and plotting skills are phenomenal. I think this is the 4th or 5th time I have read Drawn, and each time, the second I start that first paragraph, I am a captive in her perfect, imaginary world, and I never want to leave” (Geekery Book Review).
So enter to win anytime between now and the end of May. And if you haven’t already, please (humbly asking…) do add DRAWN to your “to read” shelf on Goodreads.com so your other friends there who might be interested in it will see this title as well.
I look forward to connecting with many more readers in the future. That for me is the true joy of being a writer! Thanks so much, all.
I’ve always been a sucker for a good time travel tale. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and A Knight in Shining Armor are all favorite books of mine. And then there are the flicks: 13 Going on 30, 17 Again, Kate and Leopold, and the ultimate time travel movie Back to the Future. So it should be no surprise that I’m always hoping to find a smart time travel novel to represent as a literary agent.
And, also not a surprise, as an author I had the most fun writing my OUTLANDER-like time travel novel DRAWN, which I’ve just re-released this week with a new cover! So, cuz of the new cover release and all, I thought I’d dwell today a bit on the past, and my kind-of obsession with it…
I think what I love most about time travel is the way it allows me to toy with what it’d be like to visit another time. Not to be someone who lived in that time long ago or far away, but to be myself encroaching on another world. Whenever I visit an old building, a castle, or a ruin, I can’t help but wonder what the people were like back then. Were they very different? Would I connect with them somehow?
If you could go anywhere, or rather, anywhen, when would you go? What sort of tales would you weave around that?
Me? I’d end up smack-dab in the Middle Ages. I’d love to see a fully functioning castle, and women whisking about in those elaborate gowns and pointy headpieces, and knights clanking in their armor, and foppish troubadours strumming lutes.
Honestly, that’s one of the fun things about being a writer — being able to bring your own imaginings to life. In my novel DRAWN, Michelle De Freccio is a practical teen. She’s an artist, but still is someone firmly grounded in reality and the normal. When she moves to England, she keeps drawing pictures of some guy. Then she starts bumping into him at the town’s castle. That’s when things start to get really strange. Michelle refuses to believe he’s actually from another time, or that she’s no longer in the present. She’s convinced he’s just some nut, until this moment in the novel:
“Try taking your meds,” I tell him, stuffing these things back into my bag. “Try not wearing that cape and boots all the time. While you’re at it, why don’t you take up a hobby, like going to Star Wars conventions as a Jedi knight?” I hang the bag over my shoulder and grab my drawing pad. “I’m leaving and if you follow me, I swear to God I’ll scream and you’ll be in prison faster than you can say Society of Creative Anachronism. Got that?”
He flashes a half smile. He’s so attractive. He’s so cocky. I grit my teeth and back away. I’m near the steps. I turn, about to run down, when I see over the wall something far below. My heart seizes up.
No tourists. No tents. No cars. No parking lot. Just grass, a water-filled moat and a deep forest in the distance.
From this point on, Michelle is forced to believe in things she never thought possible. Like the ability to connect with another time. Or how two people from such different times can feel so close. Of course Michelle and Christopher have serious differences in their beliefs and outlooks on life. Like in this scene:
He drinks a few handfuls of water, then sits back. “First you must tell me, do you support the House of York and the true and rightful king? Or are you with the so-called King Henry, that addlepated idiot who is not sane enough to know his own name?”
“You shouldn’t call him an idiot. He’s sick. Like your father was sick.”
“He is nothing like my father,” he says, indignant.
“I mean King Henry is mentally ill. It’s a sickness. It’s pretty sad.”
Christopher snorts, which seriously annoys me.
“Lots of people are mentally ill, Christopher. Lots of good people.” The tremble in my voice makes him look up. “If there was a cure, maybe he would get better and have this really great life.”
“Michelle, I happen to know for a fact that physicians have bled the king and attempted to drive out the demons that possess him, and to no avail.”
“That’s not science. It doesn’t fix anything. You know, some day in the future they’ll come up with all sorts of medicines and treatments that will—”
“You think too much.” He stacks his armor in a neat pile.
“And you don’t think enough. You are so, so…”
I’m about to say “medieval” when Christopher says, “So concerned about getting through every day alive.” He holds up the dented piece of armor to punctuate his point, then throws it clattering to the ground.
One of the most fun things about writing a time travel is tossing in modern stuff and contemporary comments into the mix. Like when Michelle, after watching Back to the Future in her own time, goes to Christopher’s time with a book outlining all the battle outcomes of the 1400s. She tells him, “This book holds all this information about what will happen. In the wrong hands, it could be disastrous. At least according to Hollywood.” And Christopher responds, “I do not know of this Hollywood person…”
And what does happen with this book? If Christopher uses it, people will live who shouldn’t have, and others will die who shouldn’t have. Quite a mess. Then there’s a scene when Christopher is unconscious from a battle wound, and Michelle tries to save his life with one of those impossibly tiny first aid kits people keep in their purses:
“Okay, modern science to the rescue.” I open the kit and inside are three Band-Aids, a Midol pill, a small foil tube of antibacterial cream and one alcohol wipe. That’s it. I sink onto the chair.
Throughout the novel, the couple faces a ton of challenges as they fall in love. How can they have any sort of life together when every time Michelle sees him, she’s changing destiny in dangerous way? Plus Christopher is “no prince.” His life is intertwined with treachery and murder. And adding to their couple issues is this biggie: every time they kiss, she’s thrown back into her own time.
Can love overcome all of these problems? Should it? DRAWN is my way of exploring these questions…and of getting completely lost in the past.
If you are interested in exploring DRAWN, you can check out more about it by clicking here. Also, if you are on GOODREADS, you can enter to win one of 5 signed print copies of DRAWN with its new cover by entering the giveaway there starting this Friday. To enter, click here from Friday. The giveaway runs through the end of May.
*Marie is a Literary Agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. To keep up with all her Agent Monday posts, subscribe to her site.
I was so excited to learn that my YA novel DRAWN is up for BEST BOOK OF 2012 at the great review site Long and Short Reviews!!!
The poling just opened today and runs through Feb. 14th. So here’s where I can use some help. If you could stop by their voting page and cast a vote for DRAWN, that would be all sorts of wonderful You just need to select DRAWN, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Vote” and that’s that. And, if you are feeling particularly wonderful, you could also spread the word, maybe?
To cast your vote, please click here.
Long and Short Reviews has already selected DRAWN as a “Best Book” and it was voted as a “Book of the Month,” plus in their review, they said, “I was drawn (pun intended) into this book from the first page and couldn’t put it down...The setting is wonderful… This story is so deftly created… It has the perfect amount of romance, and enough action and suspense to keep the most distracted reader turning the pages.” Phew, that was cool.
Anyways, thanks so much for any support you can offer. It’s so appreciated.
Quick post to let you know that my award-winning paranormal DRAWN is available FREE in ebook format through a special promo this week only (11/12-11/16) through Amazon worldwide. You can access it for US readers here and for UK readers here.
With entries from all over the world, the Literary Classics International Book Awards selection committee recognizes the top titles which exemplify excellence in children’s and young adult literature, thereby encouraging a passion for reading while promoting education, imagination and character in young readers.
I am so pleased to receive this honor. DRAWN is such a special book to me, and it means so much to have it recognized by others.
Across the board, this novel about an artist and her ghost has been earning praise from reviewers and from readers ever since its release early this year. In addition to this Silver Award, DRAWN has also earned “Best Book” and “Book of the Month” through Long and Short Reviews and has been rated “Top Pick” by the review site Night Owl Reviews. In one of this novel’s most recent reviews, BookLove 101 said, “Loved it all! … We’ve got forbidden romance, time travel, mystery, deception, heart break, and so much more! All put together to make one truly EPIC read! Five stars from me! I’d recommend this read to anyone!”
Thank you to the awards committee for singling DRAWN out for this award. And thanks, also, to my novel’s many readers who have taken a moment to share this book with others. I’m doubly honored by your support and by your thoughtful reviews.
How do you feel about hot medieval ghosts? How about a hot medieval ghost in a free ebook? Hey, who doesn’t love free stuff? Today July 11th through Friday July 13th, anyone can snag an ebook copy of my paranormal novel DRAWN for FREE. Yuppers. That’s a free e-book today through Friday only!
All you have to do is click here, snag your copy by purchasing it at the temporary price of $0, and download it to either your Kindle, computer or other reading device ASAP. After Friday, the novel returns to its $4.99 price.
Here’s what DRAWN is all about:
She’s the artist that finds him in her drawings. He’s the medieval ghost that conquers her heart. And their time is running out.
Michelle De Freccio moves to England seeking a normal life, but someone starts appearing in her sketches. Then he grabs her at the castle, his pale green eyes full of longing. She’s immediately drawn to him, but is Christopher Newman real? She’s either losing it, or channeling a hot ghost from the 1400’s. History calls him a murderer. Her heart tells her other truths. Now Michelle faces endless dangers…and a timeless love.
And here’s some praise for DRAWN:
“I was drawn (pun intended) into this book from the first page and couldn’t put it down…so deftly created…It has the perfect amount of romance, and enough action and suspense to keep the most distracted reader turning pages.”–Rated “Best Book” by Long and Short Reviews
“The characters are beautifully written, and the story is witty, charming, and an utter delight to read…This is a fantastic romantic and tender story that will continue to enchant readers for years to come.” —Rated “Top Pick” by Night Owl Reviews
“Mysterious and enchanting, DRAWN is a breath of fresh air. If you are looking for a page turner with a unique twist, then look no further.” —TwilightMOMS
“The characters are all wonderful, filling in two worlds with real people and making you feel like you’re there. The main romance is heartrendingly sweet and will curl your toes.” —Clean Romance Reviews
Even though I’ve been getting such great reviews across the board for DRAWN, many people still haven’t heard of this book. That’s why I’m doing this free promotion. To let as many readers as possible find out about DRAWN in the hopes that they will spread the word about the novel to many, many others. Plus all the free downloads over these three days will boost DRAWN’s ranking. That means if we get enough downloads, DRAWN will rise to the top and folks who might never have seen it before will take notice of this book in a big way. That’s why every free download counts so much, so please take a moment to click over and snag a copy!
Want to help even more? Then you can Tweet this free offer and put it on your Facebook.
Here’s something you can cut and paste into Twitter, if you are so inclined:
Get a #freeebook of #paranormal #romance DRAWN by @marielamba today thru 7/13 http://amzn.to/z8azlC
Spread the word! Today July 11 through Friday July 13 only, get a free ebook copy of the paranormal romance DRAWN by Marie Lamba by clicking here: http://amzn.to/z8azlC
My eternal thanks, as always, to all of you! I’ll be sure to report back here to let you know the results.
For some of us, it can happen when we move to a new place or switch schools. Sometimes it’s a goal we set for ourselves, like by the end of this summer you’d like to eat healthier, spend more time with those you love, learn a new skill, be happier. For writers, sometimes we want to create a novel with an entirely different voice, or in a new genre…like I did when I wrote my newest novel Drawn, a paranormal about an artist who channels a hot ghost with a sketchy past. Pretty different from my earlier contemporary YA novels What I Meant… and Over My Head. Writing aside, when it comes to do overs in your own life, maybe you simply decide that this is the moment when you will make a BIG change. To alter the course of your future. Yet sometimes that seems impossible. Sometimes your past gets in the way.
In Drawn, Michelle longs to escape her past and have a fresh start. As she says in this early scene from the book:
The two of us have only been in England for a few days, yet I’m already convinced it’s the best place in the universe. Not because of the quaint little shops or everyone’s adorable English accent, or even because of this supposedly grand castle on the edge of town. No. This place is perfect because here no one knows that back in New Jersey my family, the De Freccio’s, are called the De Freak-o’s.
Back in New Jersey, Michelle’s mother was an eccentric psychic who suddenly up and left the family without a trace. And her brother was a diagnosed schizophrenic. And Michelle had been friendless, an outcast. But in England, she hopes for a new life. A normal one.
Honestly, while writing Drawn I could really identify with Michelle’s do over moment. In elementary school a bunch of snotty girls used to push me around during recess, and it crushed my spirit. So in middle school, where lots of new kids filled the classrooms, it looked like a clear do-over moment to me.
But reputations tend to cling to a person, so it was pretty rocky for me at first. Those nasty kids still were in my school, even though their power was now diluted. Still I was too self-conscious and too worried about what I said and wore and how people looked at me.
Now looking back I can see the real problem wasn’t those girls, it was what I carried inside myself: the loser image I wanted to ditch, but that on some level I’d bought into. What if they were right about me?
In the novel, Michelle may have left her past behind, but her insecurities have come along for the ride:
I get that familiar hot burn of humiliation. I always felt it whenever someone back in New Jersey would pull a trick on me, convincing me that I really was invited to a party, or that science class was actually meeting out near the woods on the edge of school grounds. I discovered I was an easy mark. Too trusting, too eager for friends.
I’d promised myself that those days were over. But here, an ocean away from New Jersey, it’s starting all over again. It’s like I’ve got a permanent “KICK ME” note stuck on my back.
Luckily for me, by the end of middle school I did have friends. I was liked. I remember wondering, why? It mystified me. Wasn’t I the same person who was so looked down on earlier?
In the novel, when things start looking up for Michelle, it mystifies her too:
I sigh, realizing I’ve disappointed my friends. I blink a few times, as this all sinks in. I’ve just turned down an “in” with the popular kids. And I actually have friends. It seems that by simply moving to a new place, I’ve somehow climbed out of my social wasteland. I think of all the high school kids in the world who are teased and shunned. They should all have the chance to move and start over—kind of like a witness protection program, but for outcasts.
Actually, I believe there is a sort of relocation program for anyone who needs it. And you don’t need an airline ticket to England to get there. It’s not a place, but a state of mind deep within ourselves. Michelle started to have friends not because she moved but because she had already begun to change inside. To trust others and have more faith in herself. She truly wasn’t that same person anymore. And that’s what happened to me, too, in a way. I’d started to genuinely feel good about myself and to open up to people more and that made all the difference.
Of course nothing is simple, and real change doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just wake up one morning and DING! Everything is all butterflies and happy songs. It takes time to gain inner strength and for those better choices in what you do and who you hang out with to all gel and reshape your days into the life you truly want. For me, it was a process of feeling better about myself and discovering what was most important to me. It did take time, but by the end of high school I felt like really strong, really happy.
In the book, not all Michelle’s new friends are good ones. And her life is NOT easy, especially after the appearance of Christopher who is either a delusion or a ghost. This definitely spells trouble for a girl trying very hard to blend in. And it forces her to wonder about who she really wants to be. And what she should truly believe in.
She comes to learn she can’t control how others feel, only how she feels. And in the end she must choose whether or not to believe in Christopher, a spirit who may or may not be a murderer. Who may or may not love her back. His life, their love, and Michelle’s hope all hang in the balance.
Michelle does a lot of incredibly brave things in the book, but to me, she is most courageous when she owns up to this:
Maybe I am a fool. Maybe Christopher doesn’t love me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not in love with him…
It’s a huge risk, trusting that this is enough. And it propels Michelle into a life threatening struggle where she puts everything on the line. But in the end, trusting her own feelings opens Michelle up to true friendship and to true love.
Taking risks and believing in yourself. It’s the bravest thing you can ever do, and what do overs are all about. So believe!