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Good News…

four-seasons-winner

Just a quick update. I’m ecstatic to share that my new adult paranormal romance, THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS, took first place in Windy City RWA’s Four Seasons Contest! Will celebrate by consuming an entire chocolate orange whilst hacking away at my TBR list. To sugar rushes and book bliss!  🙂

Michelle Joyce Bond

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THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS Took First Place in the Beacon Contest!

beacon-winnerI am singing and dancing and hugging my rabbit! My geeky, dark new adult paranormal romance took first place in the paranormal category of First Coast Romance Writers’ Beacon Contest!! I am so thankful to everyone who’s supported me: my critique partners, husband, and family. I’m really pulling for this story and hope to make them proud by publishing this strange, little piece of fiction, but we shall see. 🙂

Each time I get contest news, I like to write a bit more about my inspiration for the story, so I’m going to share about the gamer side of things. Since college, I’ve enjoyed hanging out with my husband and his friends who are retro-gamers. My job and writing leave little time for me to play games, but I’ve played many a game vicariously through my real-life, geeky husband hero. He spends a lot of time researching retro games and began collecting both systems and carts a couple of years ago. His collection is modest, but he’s got some great classic carts in there–mostly NES, SNES, and Genesis titles.

A few years ago, we noticed arcades like Yestercades of Red Bank and Somerville, NJ opening up. These retro arcades are a fun place not just for adults to relax and reminisce, but they seemed to attract a decent population of teenagers who were curious about retro games and really seemed to enjoy them. This echoed a trend I noticed on retro collection videos posted on YouTube where its not just Gen Xs reveling in the nostalgia. These incredible games hold appeal for people of all ages as they are timeless, fast-paced, and just plain fun.

This is my inspiration for Bess and her friends, characters in THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS. Freshmen in college, they are wacky, bright, and like nothing more than to chill in a local retroarcade. Of course, Bess isn’t really at a point in her life where she can be anything close to “chill.” And there’s the matter of her former academic rival, Serge, who shows up on the worst night possible and literally beats her at her own game…

Michelle Joyce Bond

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THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS: Bit of News and My Inspiration Board

art day graphics heart clipTotally honored–my new adult paranormal romance, THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS, is now a six-time RWA chapter contest finalist!

Last night, I got the call that my project finaled in North Lousisana RWA’s 2016 Suzannah Contest. What followed was a poor rendition of the Cha Cha Slide and my husband looking at me like I was a nut. They announce the final round in March, so I’m on pins until then!

In the meantime, I’m working on a new book with a new hero and heroine that would could fit into a series with THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS. This paranormal romance series would be centered around dark powers that are triggered by touch. And geeks. Hot geeks. 🙂

Recently, I also had a bit of fun putting together an inspiration board on Pinterest for THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS. Click here to visit the board. One of the coolest images is this woman blurring into smoke. She stands for the Shadow–the antagonist in my story. The Shadow is a malicious being who rises to the surface whenever our heroine kisses a guy and drags his consciousness down into a realm of nightmares.

Michelle Joyce Bond

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Exciting News…

love cute kawaii heart i love youMy new adult paranormal romance, THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS, took first place in the paranormal category of San Francisco RWA’s Heart-to-Heart Contest! This is an incredible surprise–I still can’t believe it! I have my fingers crossed for this project since it is close to my heart in so many ways.

Because every time I post about this project, I try to share a little bit more, I’d like to talk about one of its unique characteristics. My heroine, Bess, works part-time as a medical scribe. In other words, she takes care of the clerical functions of a doctor’s job so that the doctor can be more efficient. A minimum of a high school diploma, computer skills, and a responsible attitude are required for the job. Working as a scribe is a great opportunity for college students who are thinking of aiming for a medical degree and want to see if medicine is for them. It’s also a great way to build experience and can turn into a career! Learn more about it here:

Medical Scribe FAQ

17 Things to Know About Medical Scribes

In my book, Bess is working as a scribe in the ER, so the normal risks of the job as well as the stress are compounded. She is also working with an awful doctor who tests her at every turn.

Part of this tale does take place on a college campus, but I wanted THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS to be as unique a new adult book as possible. That meant new jobs, new settings, and unique characters. Oh–and of course–a strange little curse…

Michelle Joyce Bond

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THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS Is Now a Five-Time Finalist!

the-beaconI’m incredibly honored to announce that my new adult paranormal romance, THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS, has now finaled in five contests: First Coast Romance Writer’s Beacon Contest, Mid-America Romance Authors’ Fiction from the Heartland ContestSan Francisco Area RWA’s Heart-to-Heart ContestMissouri RWA’s Gateway to the Best Contest, and Windy City RWA’s Four Seasons Contest.

**Cue scene in which I spin in circles on a green hill and then break into Katy Perry’s “Roar.”**

These contests are all RWA chapter contests and their first-round judges have provided me with invaluable feedback about my project. The judges also gave me a lot of encouragement. Their comments just made me smile. 🙂 It’s one thing to believe in your book and quite another to hear someone else–a complete stranger–say they love it and can’t wait for it to be published.

Every time I sit down to write a new book, I try to push myself in some way. THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS is my first new adult book. It’s also my first book in dual POV, and I’ve woven my new learning from craft workshops into the fabric of the book. I also can’t help playing with things–like tying the paranormal aspect directly into the romance and its obstacles. The paranormal and romance plots do not coexist but are one in the same.

As always, I couldn’t do this without a few really savvy critique partners. When I was a teenager, I’d lock myself in my room and write and write and write. Those books are still somewhere in my basement on floppy drives (dating myself here)–fantasy paranormals that nobody ever saw but me. But as soon as I decided I wanted an audience and set that goal to be published, I knew I was going to need help. In many ways, it’s all about the journey, and I’m having an absolute blast working with my girls: Kimberley Ash, Arell Rivers, Noella Phillips, and Aryn Youngless. Write on!

Michelle Joyce Bond

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THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS Is a Finalist!

I am stoked to share that my new adult paranormal romance, THE TWENTY-EIGHTH KISS, finaled in San Francisco Area RWA’s Heart-to-Heart Contest!

excited sailor moon exciting fangirling hell yes
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG

Here’s a micro blurb:

A gamer-girl geek puts every guy she kisses to sleep. Her former high school rival is the last guy she expects to try and break the curse.

This was a fun book to write not only because of the new freedom presented by the jump in genre (I usually write YA) but because the chemistry between the characters was so strong.

This is also my first dual POV book, and I absolutely loved being in the hero’s head! A closet artist with a searing intelligence and blunt nature, Serge pushes Bess to her limits. There’s a lot of fun banter between the two throughout the book, and Serge doesn’t pull any punches. He’s my favorite kind of hero–the kind I want to slap.

The heroine, Bess, is bright with tunnel-vision determination and more than her fair share of quirks. Bess and her best friends are retro-gamers which meant I got to write a some fun scenes that include them geeking about in a sweet arcade. Bess is also a medical scribe. This internship offered to college students was interesting to research and definitely helped me to amp up the tension in this book.

I am excited to pitch this new book at NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference coming up next weekend. Can’t wait to talk books, make connections, and get my craft on. 🙂

Michelle Joyce Bond

 

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Books With Friends: SANDMAN SLIM

Time to chat about the #BooksWithFriends challenge! I recently finished SANDMAN SLIM, a gritty fantasy recommended to me by my critique partner and friend, Aryn Youngless.

sandman slimHere’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Supernatural fantasy has a new antihero in Sandman Slim, star of this gripping, gritty new series by Richard Kadrey.

Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.

Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.

Darkly twisted, irreverent, and completely hilarious, Sandman Slim is the breakthrough novel by an acclaimed author.

One of the goals of the #BooksWithFriends challenge is to get readers out of their comfort zones, and lately, I’ve been reading a ton of–you guessed it–romance. I’m usually pretty good and will mix in literary works, but I don’t usually reach for books like SANDMAN SLIM unless I’m in the mood for a graphic novel. This book is packed with dark humor, magic, mayhem, and action, action, action.

There are several well-choreographed fight scenes punctuated by humorous dialogue. Stark’s temperament, history, and unique collection of artifacts make him a fun character to picture.

Stark is also prone to long interior monologues that perform noir-like deconstructions of LA…and I love them. These pockets are some of the best parts of the book.

Overall, I’m really pleased and am happy to have taken this challenge. It’s important for writers to read wide and read often. I’m thankful to have had this experience because Kadrey is an incredible author whose voice and tone is contagious.

Read more about Kadrey and his books by clicking here.

Michelle Joyce Bond