Comunicazione di servizio: Il blog si trasferisce!

Ebbene sì! Il blog si trasferisce da Blogger a WordPress!
Sinceramente mi son sempre trovata male nella gestione del blog con questo sistema, e dato che già utilizzo WP con gli altri siti, ho deciso che è arrivato il momento di fare cambio. In questi giorni quindi avverrà il trasferimento… speriamo bene!

Detto ciò spero che continuerete a seguirmi! Ovviamenge il gadget GFC non esisterà più, ma ci sarà sempre Twitter, Goodreads, Networked Blogs e ovviamente il feed.

Spero di ritrovarvi dall’altra parte! 🙂

In Leah’s Wake – The UK Launch

Just not many months ago, I posted an interview for a blog tour for the book In Leah’s Wake by Terri Giuliano Long. Now I was asked to help again promoting this brilliant novel for its UK launch.

Terri Giuliano Long prepared a very lovely guest post, An Ode to Bloggers. Since the whole Goodreads debacle I think it’s very nice that she made the time to appreciate the work of book bloggers.

And there is a contest!

The Facebook competition will run from 23rd January to 27th January on Terri’s Facebook page, under the ‘Photo Contest’ tab: (http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites?sk=app_197602066931325).  There are two $50 Amazon gift certificates available: one for the best photograph and one for the best caption.  Entrants can take a photograph of themselves with their paperback copy of In Leah’s Wake or showing the book on their ereader or laptop, or perhaps get family members and/or pets involved!  For the really creative, why not recreate a scene from the book?

And now, the guest post. Enjoy!

An Ode to Bloggers

Last May, a month or so after I began marketing my novel, In Leah’s Wake, a former agent told me that I would never sell 500 books. A rookie, I had no idea what to expect. When I published the novel, I’d dreamed of selling a 3,000 – 5,000 books, hoping healthy sales numbers would attract the attention of an agent or traditional publishing house for my next novel.

The agent had left New York, but she’d been in the business for a long time, and her words stung. I hung up the phone, heartbroken, depressed. Had I not been in the midst of my first blog tour, I might have pulled my novel off the market that day.

Determined to see the tour through, I soldiered on.  On the tour, I met wonderful, caring people, book bloggers, whose kindness buoyed and sustained me. 

Over the next few months, In Leah’s Wake appeared on hundreds of blogs. Bloggers opened their hearts and spread the word about this quiet literary novel. In August, In Leah’s Wake hit the Barnes & Noble and Amazon charts. Now, seven months after my talk with that agent, the book has been in the Amazon top 200 for over five months, and we’ve sold just shy of 80,000 copies.

Book bloggers rock! I don’t know how to say it any better. Book bloggers are the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. They invest their talent, their energy, and their time into reviewing and promoting books – and keeping dreams alive.

Even today, traditional media refuse to recognize or review indie books. In this very real sense, book bloggers are the heart and soul of the indie revolution.  Their vision, their energy, and their determination have enabled this amazing populist movement to take hold.

Today, we have the great good fortune of hearing the funny, poignant, intelligent voices of new authors from around the world – voices that, just a few years ago, might have been silenced by the gatekeepers of the old guard. These voices reach into hearts and minds, forging connections, uniting us in a community of readers and writers, searching for and finding, through words, the better part of ourselves. Because, truly, at heart, this is what reading and writing is all about.

Here’s to you, book bloggers! You are and always will be my heroes!

AUTHOR BIO
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the award-winning novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

Website: www.tglong.com 
Blog: www.tglong.com/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tglong
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites

This week, Terri and Inspired Quill Press (paperback edition), launch a newly edited edition of In Leah’s Wake. The newly edited novel features a new chapter and several new scenes, adding new connections and insights, and tightens the book, cutting 60 pages – all while maintaining the integrity of the original edition.

For more information, please visit her website: www.tglong.com/blog or any of these retailer sales. (Your local library or bookstore can also order the book through major distribution channels.)

Amazon Kindle: Link
Amazon Paperback: Link
Barnes & Noble: Link
Indie Bound: Link

BOOK INFORMATION

IN LEAH’S WAKE
Terri Giuliano Long
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN: 1456310542
Publisher: CreateSpace/Inspired Quill Press
Website: www.tglong.com

***Newly edited by Sara-Jayne Slack, Inspired Quill Press***

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake?

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of Banishing Verona, calls In Leah’s Wake “a beautifully written and absorbing novel.”

When happens when love just isn’t enough?

Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence
2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

Praise for In Leah’s Wake

“Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender.”
Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room

“In Leah’s Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel.”
Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”
Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

“An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts.”
Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

Trailer

Top Ten Books I Want To Give As Gifts

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s subject is:

Top Ten Books I Want To Give As Gifts 
(and to who…even if you won’t actually give them!)
Here’ my list:
  • Anna and the french kiss by Stephanie Perkins – To anyone. I loved this book so much so I will give it to anybody who need a good romance in her/his life.
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding – To my friend G. I don’t know if she has read this book or not, but this book is a must-read for me!
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – To my friend A. I actually almost convinced him to start reading this book! He loves a good mistery and this one is amazing.
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – To my friend B. Actually I cheated! I’ve already gifted her this book on her birthday so maybe I should give her the second one.
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  – To my sister. I think she could love this book just as much as I love it. Plus she will know the story when she’ll accompany me to the cinema!
  • The Great Gasby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – To nobody in particular. This book is one of my favorites so I’d gift it to anyone!
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer – To my friend R. She loved the Twilight Saga so much! But I think she will love this book more.

The "In Leah’s Wake" Holiday Tour – Interview with Terri Giuliano Long

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour! 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.  

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!

 

…And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Terri on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this inspiring and friendly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: In Leah’s Wake has taken the publishing world by storm. Get the book for just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7WP5H #whirlwind  

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?  

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.  

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a $500 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Terri’s most recent blog post. Yup, you read that correctly—$500! How easy is that? An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.

Remember, it’s all about the books!

Terri Giuliano LongAbout In Leah’ Wake: The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore. While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  

About the Author: Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when her award-winning debut literary novel, In Leah’s Wake, hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.  

Interview with Terri Giuliano Long

In Leah’s Wake and the Characters Who Make It a Story

Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it. In Leah’s Wake tells the story of a family in collapse. Sixteen-year-old Leah, a straight-A student and star soccer player, has led a perfect life. When she meets and dates a sexy older guy, attracted to his independence, she begins to spread her wings. Drinking, ignoring curfew, dabbling in drugs—all this feels like freedom to her. Her terrified parents, afraid they’re losing their daughter, pull the reins tighter. Unfortunately, her parents get it all wrong, pushing when they ought to be pulling, and communication breaks down. Soon there’s no turning back. Twelve-year-old Justine, caught between the parents she loves and the big sister she adores, soon finds herself in the fight of her life, trying desperately to pull her family together. Parents, wanting the best for their children, often push their kids to be perfect – and push themselves to be perfect parents. It’s tempting to believe that only bad kids from bad families get in trouble. This attitude allows us to distance ourselves – this could never happen to us – and creates unhealthy competition. When families have problems, we judge and ostracize them, only adding to the difficulties they’re already facing. The truth is, when problems arise, the fallout affects the entire community. The epigraph from The Grand Inquisitor says it best: “everyone is really responsible to all men for all men and for everything.” As Hillary Clinton famously said, it takes a village to raise a child. For the sake of our children, we must all do our part to be supportive members of the village. Although the Tyler family is far from perfect, they love one another. Had the community rallied around and supported them, perhaps Leah would not have gotten as lost. Like adults, most teens just want to feel accepted and loved – not for what they accomplish or contribute, but for who they are. I’d be thrilled if my novel inspired readers to suspend judgment, to look less harshly at troubled teens and their families. I think we owe it to our teens, to our communities, and to ourselves to work harder to support and encourage all kids, not just those who conform.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
LEAH TYLER: Leah is a strong young woman, beautiful, smart, a superstar in the community. As long as she lives up to their expectations, she’s accepted, even celebrated. As soon as she tries to take control of her own life, question the rules, spread her wings, she meets resistance. When she chooses her troublemaker boyfriend over a promising college soccer career, and heads down a path of drugs and self-destruction, she rips her once happy family apart.
JUSTINE TYLER: Justine is twelve, in that awkward stage, not really a child anymore and not quite a teen. Justine is intelligent, faithful, and kind, and she sees the best in people, sometimes to her own detriment. Deeply religious, she sees God as Father and protector – a belief that will be challenged by her family’s turmoil. Her best friend is Dog, the family’s aging pet Labrador. Although only twelve, Justine is left to be the rock as the rest of her family plunges into depression.
ZOE AND WILL TYLER: Zoe and Will are hardworking parents – too hardworking – who love and want the best for their children. Ambitious and strong, Will is willing do whatever it takes to help his children reach their full potential, even if it means alienating them in the process. He can’t sit back, watching his teenage daughter destroy her promising future. Zoe, a child therapist and motivational speaker, is a peacemaker who avoids confrontation, and thus easily falls into depression. Their divided approach to Leah’s rebellion drives a wedge into their marriage. Rather than listen to their daughter, accept that she’s growing up, that her choices may differ from theirs, and guide her down the path that’s right for her, Zoe and Will try to take control. This is a classic problem between parents and teens. The minute we put our foot down, say no, they can’t do this or that, they tend to focus all their energy in that direction. Zoe and Will’s escalating attempts to control their daughter result in her pulling away. This is a difficult cycle to break.
JERRY JOHNSON: Jerry Johnson, the police officer, is the only non-family member with a voice in the novel. Jerry’s work as a police officer brings him into frequent contact with the dissolving Tyler family. Though flawed like all the characters, he takes his responsibility for others to heart. He’s the connecting force in this novel.
TODD CORBETT: Leah’s boyfriend, Todd, a former roadie in a rock band, is a modern day James Dean, a rebel without a cause. He’s been arrested for dealing drugs, so it’s easy to blame him for leading her astray; really, he’s a conduit. He makes her feel comfortable and safe and encourages her blossoming independence. By the time Leah realizes that he wants to control her, too – albeit in a different way – it’s too late. If only she’d realized how deeply her family loves her, she might have avoided the dire consequences she suffers. That’s the central irony in the book – perhaps the irony in many relationships between parents and teens.  

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? Bob Sullivan, the owner of Sullivan Farms Ice Cream, and Dorothy Klein, the beautiful woman who designs the button bracelets Zoe buys for Leah and herself, are real people. Every other character is completely imaginary. I did borrow gestures, habits, and physical characteristics from real people – the runaway arm belongs to my youngest daughter, KK; my husband is a darker physical stand-in for Will. Of course, borrowing sometimes results in unfortunate assumptions. I’m lucky – my family puts up with my thievery and ignores the conclusions readers draw. Personality, motivation, and behavior of my characters I’m fully responsible for.  

Q: Your book is set in Cortland, MA. Can you tell us why you chose this city? Geographically, the town of Cortland is modeled after the town of Harvard, MA. In the fall, we used to go there to pick apples. Harvard is stunningly beautiful – with the rolling hills, the stone walls, the orchards. Sometimes, Dave and I would drive there and just ride around. This family is in tremendous pain; they’re struggling. That these fierce struggles might take place in this bucolic setting felt surprising, and that tension felt important to the book.  

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story? Judging from the stories I hear, the social and political climate in the imaginary town of Cortland reflects that in many middle- and upper-middle class towns across the U.S., and perhaps outside the U.S. I’ve talked with parents who’ve expressed frustrations similar to Zoe and Will’s. Culturally – not always or only by their parents – children feel pressure to live up to impossible expectations. When children step out of line, the parents and families often feel judged. Community plays an important role in setting expectations and shaping and maintaining connections. The expectations, the constant demand to perform, can be overwhelming. In small towns, everyone knows everyone else, by sight if not by name. You can’t hide. If you or a family member is in trouble, everyone knows it. That claustrophobia and the constant feeling of condemnation, being watched, inform the inner lives of these characters and influence their behavior.  

Q: Who are your favorite characters in the story? My characters are all imperfect – they behave badly and they’re sometimes, perhaps often, enormously irritating – but I love them all, for their strengths as well as their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Justine is sweet and caring and kind, so she’s easy to love, but I also love Leah. Although Leah drives the parent in me crazy, her heart is in the right place. The same applies to Zoe and Will – they often make terrible choices; despite their failures, they act out of love. In the novel, Jerry Johnson, the police officer, is the only non-family member with a voice. Though flawed like all the characters, he takes his responsibility for others to heart. I’ve always admired Gail Mullen Beaudoin, a police officer in Chelmsford, MA. Gail brings strength, dignity and grace to a very difficult job. I see police officers as the connecting force in communities. Every day they put their lives on the line. To me, they’re our real life heroes. As the connecting force in this novel and for this family, Jerry is my favorite.  

Q: Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book? In a chapter called “Sisters Redux,” Justine, the geeky, goody-two-shoes little sister, asks Leah for a cigarette. It’s almost painful to see her trying so hard to win her big sister’s acceptance and affection. At first, Leah scoffs; then it dawns on her that Justine is actually serious and her conscience takes over. Leah has made difficult choices and been ostracized for them; for Justine, that path would be wrong. In certain arenas, dorks have the advantage, she thinks. As she’s about to say no, it occurs to Leah that Justine has a right to make her own choices. With this insight, for the first time since they were young kids, Leah sees Justine as her equal. Despite her reservations, she gives her sister the cigarette. In a sweet moment, later in the chapter, Leah teaches Justine to dance. This love between the sisters is, to me, heartbreaking and special.

Q: If In Leah’s Wake were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why? Will Tyler – Matt Damon. Mr. Damon exudes fatherly love and protectiveness and he’s also very intense. If his daughter were in trouble, I can picture him going into overdrive, like Will, and doing whatever it takes to pull her back. Zoe Tyler – Sandra Bullock. I see her as loving, driven and ditzy, a less strident version of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mom she played in The Blind Side. Leah Tyler – For the role of Leah, I’d search for new talent. Caroline Wakefield, as played by Erika Christensen, in the film Traffic, reminded me of Leah, in her all-American beauty and stunning transformation from preppy to drug-addicted prostitute. Ms. Christensen is too old for this role, but she’d be the prototype. Justine Tyler – Abigail Breslin. Like Justine, she’s sweet and dorky and cute. She’s also precocious and strong. Jerry Johnson – Vince Vaughn. He’s not the guy who walks into a room and gets the girl, but he’s centered and responsible, the rock for the others to lean on. Todd Corbett (Leah’s boyfriend) – Jordan Masek. Jordan plays the role of Todd in my trailer. Jordan is actually a sweet guy, in real life. But he knows how to channel his inner bad boy. I can’t imagine a more appropriately cast Todd.

The "Stay Tuned!" Whirlwind Tour

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Stay Tuned eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 2nd, so you don’t miss out.  

To Win the Prizes:

1. Purchase your copy of Stay Tuned for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble (You’ll need it for the big contest on Friday) 2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes 3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!  

…And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.  

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Lauren on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this fun and bubbly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of Stay Tuned. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!  

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Take a break from the holiday frenzy, and read Stay Tuned. It’s fast, fun, and reduced to just 99 cents! http://ow.ly/7zA1e #whirlwind  

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?  

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs.  

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Stay Tuned either in paperback or on an eReading device, tag Lauren Clark’s Facebook page, and you can enter to win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the most creative photo, $50 to the best BFF photo, and $50 to the photo with the most people in it. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. If you need help learning how to tag a photo, you can visit Lauren’s Facebook page for detailed instructions.  

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Stay Tuned:

What happens when a #1 news team becomes the top story instead of reporting it? For TV producer Melissa Moore, crisis management comes with the job. From employee disputes to her high-maintenance boss, there’s not much she hasn’t seen or can’t handle. But no one—including Melissa—expects a fistfight during the ten o’clock news. When sexy-but-crazy Alyssa Andrews lands a punch on her co-anchor’s face, Melissa jumps on set to help. She’s determined that WSGA’s reputation won’t be destroyed on her watch. Both anchors are fired and Melissa agrees to fill in—but not before polishing her look from haircut to heels. While the new Melissa wows WSGA viewers, her personal life starts fraying at the edges. Melissa’s husband is away more than he’s home, leaving cryptic Post-it notes in his wake. Her mother’s antics spiral out of control at the nursing home and a stalker decides Melissa is her next target. What happens next? Stay Tuned to find out… Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. About the Author: Lauren Clark has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives near the Florida Gulf Coast. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.  

Now please enjoy this sneak peek of Stay Tuned Chapter 1

Alyssa Andrews was missing. Gone, vanished, MIA with just minutes to airtime. “Melissa, where is she?” Our news director, Joe, shot a harried look in my direction. After dealing with a broken studio camera, spotty satellite reception, and last-minute script changes, his nerves were fried to a crisp. “She’ll be here,” I promised, knowing my confidence was a front. Alyssa, one of WSGA-TV’s main news anchors, was a constant source of angst in my already-stressful job. She was young, talented, gorgeous…and chronically late. This lack of punctuality was a problem, especially when WSGA ran a show at exactly six and ten o’clock every night. Not a moment later. WSGA was Macon, Georgia’s number one news station and had been for two years running. If we wanted to keep it that way, timing was everything. Every second mattered. I produced both evening shows, which meant—among a dozen other tasks—organizing the day’s stories, writing copy, and checking video. Each segment had to run seamlessly between three-minute commercial breaks. Deep breath, Melissa. Send up a little prayer. She’ll show up. The red numbers on the clock continued to march forward. Another deep breath. Everything’s in place. Alyssa just needs to walk in and get on set… “Tighten up on camera one.” Joe peppered the room with demands. “Mic check, now, not yesterday.” Tim Donaldson, Alyssa’s co-anchor, obliged, counting backwards from the number five. Joe’s thick fingers punched buttons on the massive keyboard in front of him. “Bring up the live shot.” Still, no Alyssa. Joe raked a huge hand through his long gray hair. “Five minutes!” he growled, with a glare into his empty coffee cup. At this point, it was Joe’s show to run. He was in charge. I shuffled my scripts. “How about I call her?” “She’s an adult,” he grumbled. “You shouldn’t have to.” Joe expected nothing less than perfection. He was experienced, hard working, and a stickler for detail. Alyssa’s nonchalance made him crazy. Which, at 9:55:36 on a Friday night, gave him the patience of a gnat. On crack. This was particularly dangerous for an unsuspecting new employee, all of twenty years old and pimple-faced, who crept up behind us. Joe ignored him at first, barking an order to me instead. “Fine, fine. Melissa, tell Princess A. she’s needed in the studio.” On autopilot, I punched her extension, eyes focused on the row of monitors above my head in case she decided to appear. While the phone rang, the new kid rocked on his heels nervously. I flashed a smile and shook my head gently in his direction, hoping he’d get the hint. Not now. Nope. The kid stood there, coughed lightly, and waited for one of us to turn around. “What?” Joe finally snapped. The force of the word made the kid’s body jerk back. Jaw open, unable to speak, his face turned crimson. Joe waited about a second for the kid to talk, and then leaned back over the control panel. He pressed at switches, clearly annoyed. The kid looked sick. Joe rolled his eyes. My anxiety level cranked up ten notches. 9:58:09. Less than two minutes. Wait…a flash of an ivory suit and blond hair. “There she is,” I interrupted the tension with a cool nod toward the monitors. Front and center, Alyssa sauntered into the studio, lips puckered, blowing her shell-pink nail polish dry. She slid into her seat next to Tim, and gave him a playful pat on the shoulder. Joe muttered something I couldn’t repeat. I stifled a loud sigh of relief and glanced around the room. The new guy was the only one in the building unimpressed with Alyssa’s arrival. With a shaking hand, he reached out and tapped Joe’s burly shoulder. “Mr. Joe, there’s a problem with one of the machines—” Joe’s back stiffened. He turned a millimeter in the kid’s direction and exploded. “Get your butt back there. Get one of the engineers. Fix it. Call someone.” I caught the now-completely mortified kid’s eye, and motioned for him to come toward me. Grabbing the nearest piece of paper, I jotted down the engineer’s extension and held it at arm’s length with a kind smile. Poor guy. Lots to learn. With a grateful look, the new kid plucked the scrap from my fingers and darted away. Time to get started. I settled in, gripped my pen hard, and looked up. Okay. Alyssa’s collar was turned under. Minor detail, but sure to garner at least five viewer complaints. You wouldn’t believe what people called in about. I leaned toward the microphone to let Alyssa know. “Dare you not to tell her,” Joe muttered. It wasn’t a secret that the guys would willingly let Alyssa go on air with underwear on her head. She hadn’t made friends. Or tried to. Tim, her co-anchor and current boyfriend, didn’t count. “Just part of those darn producer duties, Joe. You know that.” I flashed him a smile and pressed the button to talk. “Alyssa, fix your collar.” Her mouth parted into an O. Alyssa frowned, glanced down, and straightened the pale edge. Just in time. Like a well-directed movie, the WSGA-TV opening video flashed across monitor one. Macon, Georgia’s skyline filled the screen. My body tingled with a familiar rush of excitement. It happened every time we went on air. The cameras and lights, the beat of the music, the thrill of live television. Here we go. Seconds later, Alyssa and Tim appeared under the lights, their bright anchor smiles pasted on. “Good evening, I’m Alyssa Andrews. “And I’m Tim Donaldson.” And on it went, without a blip, for the first ten minutes. I started breathing again after the third break. Stanley and Sunshine, the weather cat, were ready for the five-day forecast, check. Commercial break, check. Sports, check. I didn’t worry about that three-minute slot. Plenty to talk about, visual stories; the anchors could get away with jokes and ad-libbing. Viewers loved it. We rounded out the show with an inspirational kicker about a local scholarship winner, a kid first in his family to go to college. He’d won forty thousand dollars and was going to Georgia Tech to study astrophysics. The show wrapped with a standard goodnight, credits, and a wide shot of the WSGA set. The second the master control operator switched to break, Alyssa flounced off the set in silicone fashion. She barked into her jewel-encrusted cell phone about her min-pin puppy’s cancelled spa appointment and stomped out of the studio, teetering precariously in four-inch heels. Yikes! I climbed the flight of stairs back to the newsroom, relieved the night was almost over. The phones started to ring five seconds later.