t June 2012 | sh C. K. Kelly Martin o

How did nearly two weeks elapse without me posting to my blog? I'm so behind on...well, tons of things. But a few things have happened recently that I really want to mention. For one, I've created a brand new website for Come See About Me. Unsurprisingly it's called Come See About Me.com and I've started posting snippets of blog reviews of the novel there. You can also download the first seven chapters in pdf form and there's an extras page with a playlist and setting photos of Oakville (where Leah spends most of her time during the book). It's a gorgeous town and I'm not just saying that because I live there, but I do feel extremely lucky, on an almost daily basis, to be here.

Secondly, yesterday Stacked posted a wonderfully insightful, detailed review of Come See About Me up that makes me feel like I've done something right (Thank you, Kelly!). Here's the chunk that I put up on my review page:
“There's a very fragile balance of being on your own for the first time and learning that...you're not as shielded from pain as you think you are. It's that last part that will make this book appealing to both older teens who are mature enough to handle the intimacy aspect, and it's this very last part that will make this book appealing to adults, as well...Martin's book is the real deal and will appeal to those who like contemporary fiction, strong characters, emotionally powerful stories, and who enjoy their sex steamy.”
The 2012 New Adult ChallengeThirdly, I'm over at A Tapestry of Words talking about Come See About Me and "New Adult" fiction and giving away several copies of the book including a signed paperback. So drop on over for a chance to win! A Tapestry of Words also has a fantastic "New Adult" reading challenge running right through to the end of 2012. My interest in reading and writing about young characters doesn't end with high school graduation and I'm sure other people feel similarly so it's great to see books about young people who are at a more independent stage in their lives finally getting some limelight. Right now I'm in the middle of reading Nick Earl's Bachelor Kisses (three characters in their mid-twenties share a house in Brisbane) and recently finished Blake Nelson's Girl sequel, Dream School. With a bit of a boom in "New Adult" fiction currently going on I look forward to checking out more titles.

Finally, some Yesterday news. I've posted the prologue and first chapter of Yesterday on the website. For research purposes I had to spend a hell of a lot of time listening to 80s radio stations while writing this book and I have to confess that some days there was a fog of nostalgia in my apartment so thick that I could almost forget that I'm living in the twenty-first century. The 80s just feels so close in my head (how I miss my old Atari! and how well I remember my excitement at finally getting a VCR in 1986!) and when Paddy and I went to see Rock of Ages last week inside I was singing along to every song. I guess you never forget the lines to the hit songs from your youth, even when they're as silly as: "Pour some sugar on me." I was more into new wave than hard rock in the 80s but I enjoyed alot of the rock stuff too and there's nothing like a a great rendition of Here I Go Again or Cum on Feel the Noize to convince a person that going big with their hair and pouring themselves into skintight red leather pants is a good idea.

Anyway, the other thing about Yesterday is that I've had the trailer ready for months but I'm finally posting it tomorrow on CANADA DAY. So you can check my website or blog and find it on either place. Happy Canada Day weekend to all my fellow Canadians, no matter where you may be! I wish you much barbecue goodness and fun firework displays.
It means a lot to me when people take the time to write down their thoughts about my books, particularly if they really connected with the work. And because I've released Come See About Me myself after being told my twenty-year-old main character was too young for YA but not old enough for adult fiction I'm doubly grateful for the lovely reviews I've seen posted at the below blogs:


*  Happy Owl Books - Meagan's giving away a copy too (thanks, Meagan!). Contest ends in 5 days.


Seriously, if these wonderfully written, heartfelt reviews don't convince readers to buy Come See About Me, then probably nothing will! Also thanks to Courtney Summers for her very kind words about the book and for her Come See About Me Facebook/Twitter giveaway.

Come See About Me trailer:

Like most national museums and galleries, Ireland's National Botanic Gardens is free to visit. We filled a gorgeous May day strolling around the outdoor gardens, arboretum and green houses (photos below). It was also interesting to see posters referring to the national referendum on the European Fiscal Compact (otherwise known as the treaty on stability or the austerity treaty...depending on who you're talking to) around Dublin.

As an Irish citizen but not a resident I wasn't able to cast a vote but if I had it would have been a no as such severe restricting of spending only leads to a downward spiral for already aidling economies (Read the Guardian article on Why Europe's fiscal compact is bound to fail.). Unfortunately, the Irish electorate (the half of them who showed up at the polls) voted 60% to 40% to ratify the EU fiscal pact. I can only hope some sea change re. European austerity occurs regardless because at this point the Irish "unemployment rate has hit its highest level since the country's financial crisis began." A whopping 14.8%.
























Come See About MeI've had my nose to the grindstone since I got back from Ireland. Readying Come See About Me for publication feels like a marathon of a process but I think I finally have things under control (hope I didn't just jinx myself saying that!). As of this moment you can buy a Kindle copy of Come See About Me on Amazon, an ePub copy from Smashwords, and an actual paperback from Createspace. Apparently in 5 - 7 days the physical copies will also be available for order from Amazon.com and hopefully in time Smashwords copies will feed out to various major retailers like the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo.

I took six months worth of desktop publishing courses while living in Ireland during the nineties and have been designing my website since 2001 so was thrilled to have the chance to design the cover for Come See About Me as well as all the material for the paperback. This book is set mostly in the town where I live—the soft place Leah falls after the devastating death of her boyfriend—and it was fantastic to be able to delve into some of its many charms.

A Come See About Me giveaway is to come (more details on that later). In the meantime I'm going to splash a bunch of my holiday photos here. I've taken so many snaps of Dublin during the past few years that this time around the only locations I captured were the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin (they do lovely meals in their cafe so if you're ever visiting be sure to stop in there for a bite) and posters about the Irish European Fiscal Compact referendum hanging around town. Unfortunately the vote didn't go the way I wanted; what growth can ever come from austerity? Just look how austerity measures in England have pulled them back into recession...but that's a blog entry onto itself!

Anyway, most of my photographs are from our jam-packed four day jaunt to London (and a day trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford), all dressed up for the Jubilee celebrations which at that point were only a week away. We were incredibly lucky to get tickets to see Misterman at the National Theatre, a one man show starring Cillian Murphy who was utterly mesmirizing as a man out of step with the world around him. Other than that one of the high points of the trip was visiting the Portobello Market in Notting Hill on a busy, sunny Saturday (they've got everything there and I scored a yummy pizza lunch for 90 pence at one of the stalls). In fact we were extremely fortunate to have gorgeous weather the entire four days and got a bit of a burn wandering around the city without sunscreen in late twenties temperatures (lesson: never skip the suncreen!). Another highlight occured just as we were leaving town, at the Heathrow Airport security scanner. My husband was setting the thing beeping and while he was more thoroughly scanned, who should be getting similar treatment next to him but our favourite Spook Tom Quinn (British actor Matthew Macfadyen) aka 2005's Mr. Darcy.

My other cool sighting while away was two seals off the coast of Shankill beach while out walking with my friend and her dog. The seals were so close to shore that we could've swum out to meet them. In fact, another couple were out there with their Labrador retriever playing fetch in the water. The lab kept spotting the nearest seal and trying to swim out to it only for the seal to duck underwater again and leave the dog paddling in circles. My friend and I stood there quite awhile watching the scene.

What else? I've been meaning to go on the Blitz - London at War walk for twenty-two years and finally managed to do it. Each of the London Walks I've been on over the years have been amazing and I can't recommend them highly enough. We got some cool (and cheap) antique prints from favourite childhood—books Babar, Tintin and Winnie the Pooh—at a stall in Portobello Market. I'll try to post a photo of them once I have them framed and hung on my wall. And we went to see Prometheus last Friday at the biggest theatre in Dublin's Savoy (I would see every movie in the Savoy one if I could!) and loved it just as much as Roger Ebert did. I remember the days when movie releases were months behind across the pond and now it seems that sometimes they're getting them first.

Now on to the photos:




London all dolled up, ready to celebrate.


Jubilee goodies.


By the Thames: double-decker buses on the Waterloo Bridge.


St. Paul's Cathedral.


There were tons of cool Britannia shop windows in the run up to the Jubilee.







Selfridges, Oxford Street


Windsor Castle, supposedly the Queen's favourite castle.





Stonehenge.




On the South Bank, London Eye, Big Ben and Parliament in the background.


Harrods.



More Jubilee goodies!


Oxford.


Harrods food hall.


Oxford.




Hanging out with the bears in Harrods.




Oxford.


Royal family Lego display in Hamley's toy store, Regent Street


Portobello Market.


Portobello Market snacks.


Selfridges, Oxford Street


Portobello Market: collectable cameras for sale.


Oxford.


Oxford.


Picturesque Kensington.


Oxford.



Their YA section.


Oxford.





Dublin's Botanic Garden photos to follow over the weekend!
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