Monthly Archives: May 2012

Interview Bragging – Durham Magazine

After spending a month in Maya’s Vacation promotions, I’m switching gears to highlight some of my mentions and interviews for this very blog, the Gourmez, and the connections I’ve made with the wealth of amazing people in our food and drink industry in the Triangle. Today’s brag comes by way of my Carpe Durham connection, which is a food blog that has twice been a finalist for Independent Weekly‘s annual Best Blog award. In addition to my posts here, I also cross-post to Carpe Durham any Durham reviews that haven’t already been posted by one of the other fabulous CD bloggers.

Back in 2010, Matt Dees, the hardworking and food-appreciating editor of Durham Magazine, contacted me and the other Carpe Durham bloggers about doing a piece in their first annual Foodie issue. Of course I said yes, and along with Carpe Durham‘s amazing primary blogger, DID, we did a little photoshoot for the piece. We were interviewed, too, and the piece primarily discusses the origins of the website with its creators, RPP and YAR.

I'm on the right!


Now, it’s been two years since the articles, so I think I can post the scans without fear of dipping into Durham Magazine’s profits for the issue (What can I say? I support writers getting income for their work!). Matt, you let me know if you want it removed, mmkay? Here is the PDF of the article.

Download here.

I hope you enjoy learning about the history of Carpe Durham!

Interview Bragging — Promoting Maya’s Vacation

It has come. This is the last week I’m spending on bragging about Maya’s Vacation, my romance novella about a woman who has to decide if she wants to chance her heart on an old flame all while painting and eating her vacation away. This week, I’m sharing a few snippets of interviews I’ve done to promote Maya’s Vacation. I was interviewed at a couple of romance book and author sites. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a bit more about me or my romance novella, you should swing by them!

First up is I Am A Reader, Not A Writer from last June. Here is your teaser:

What is one book everyone should read? 
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It is a beautiful book that blends religious striving, human suffering, cultural understanding, and language into a narrative about learning to live with aliens on another planet and learning to live with ourselves.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 
Viennese Cafe Waltz—it was a specialty flavor done by Safeway Groceries’ store brand for a few years: chocolate covered hazelnuts in a cinnamon, vanilla, and mocha ice cream.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 
Eggs Goldenrod—cheese sauce over toast with sliced and grated hard-boiled eggs. Calories for the win!
Night owl or early bird? 
Very much a night owl. I get a lot of eye rolls when I say I wake up around 10 am…until I remind them that means I’m in bed around 3 am.
Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms, especially those new coconut ones. If they made those in dark chocolate, I’d be in heaven.
Next on the agenda is Astraea Press’s blog, where I did an interview the day of Maya’s Vacation‘s release.
A random fact about your story.
Scrabble is not a recommended matchmaking method.A random fact about you as an author. 

I’ve been writing stories since I mastered handwriting—though whether I’ve ever actually mastered cursive is up for debate. My first stories involved the La Brea Tar Pit and taking a ride on a unicorn with She-Ra. It was horror and fantasy from an early age.
Favorite line in the story (can be funny, romantic, etc).  
My favorite line in the story is actually the very last one, which I dreamed—or rather, I dreamed a version of it that needed some editing. But I can’t share that one! Instead, I’ll pick this: Maya thought that interesting, but Dean’s soothing voice, like jazz spilling out of a sidewalk café, distracted her from giving it any further consideration.
Since three is such a beautiful number in writing, I’ll end the interview bragging post with this snippet from Fridays Off the Wall at Joselyn Vaughn’s blog last year.
Joselyn: Who would you cast as the main characters in a movie of your latest book?
Rebecca: In Maya’s Vacation, the main character, Maya, is a woman in her early 50s. She has a salt-and-pepper bob and an intuition that guides her strongly. I could see Kathy Najimy playing her. Dean, the main romantic interest, is an artist of the same age, lanky, and has a mop of curly blonde hair. Richard Gere with long hair would be a fun choice and would get that emotional angst just right, but I’d love Viggo Mortenson also. Danny Devito would be a perfect actor for Maya’s bustling friend, John. Naomi and Wynona Judd would have great fun playing Opal and Esther Donnelly, a pair of randy widows, as long as they don’t mind dying their hair pink.
Joselyn: I love the idea of a not 20-something heroine.  We can find love at any age. What is your favorite line for your most recent book?
This is not from a book but from my short story, Apocalypse, published recently at Yesteryear Fiction. It is about a woman—a diviner, actually—who is noticed by someone else for the first time in her life, which makes her realize that she’s worth noticing: His face is alight with the reflection of something dazzling, something she has never seen but always been. From the novel, I can only give my second favorite line—my first is the last line of the book, and I don’t want to give that away! My second favorite is Maya thought that interesting, but Dean’s soothing voice, like jazz spilling out of a sidewalk café, distracted her from giving it any further consideration.
 Joselyn:  That is really nice imagery. Do you have any characters who keep bugging you for their own book? Will you give them one?
Rebecca: I assure you, both John and Opal from Maya’s Vacation are quite confident they are worthy of their own books, largely because they find themselves infinitely entertaining and think they are great catches to anyone of the opposite sex. The fact that I have no plans to do so simply mystifies them. Obviously, I’m not paying due attention to their charms, and they may be forced to try harder.

I hope you enjoyed those little tidbits on why I wrote Maya’s Vacation and just plain learning more about me. I can’t leave you without showing off that cover one more time and giving you links to where you can buy Maya’s Vacation for $1.99, now can I? Here’s where: Astraea Press, Amazon, or Barnes and Nobles.

And here’s that pretty little cover:

Fiction Bragging — Interview With Maya Holden

We are still on my first published book, Maya’s Vacation, in this week’s fiction bragging post, and we will be for a few more weeks — I did a number of interviews promoting it when it came out last March, so I plan to point you toward one each week. But this first one is not an interview with me. Instead, it’s an interview I did with the main character in Maya’s Vacation, Maya Holden. Perhaps she can interest you in her story.

Me: Maya, you seem like such a down-to-Earth woman, but tell me, how did you end up with a litter of ferrets?

Maya: Oh, that. [She waves it away with a giggle]. My husband — ex-husband, now, of course, but he was my husband  then — he never let me live that one down. What happened was that Meredith Viera one day on the Today Show had these long, furry animals I’d never seen before. They were so cute, I just had to get one. So I headed to the pet store that very afternoon, and what did I find but a mother ferret with a new litter of four babies! They were all so cute, no longer than my index finger, and I just couldn’t separate them. It felt like the right thing to do, taking them all home! Chuck turned bright red when he saw them, but he never did complain, not really. He’d been married to me too long! You might say I’m a creature of instinct.

Review Bragging and Winners of Maya’s Vacation!

Hello everyone! For my bragging series this week, I am going to share a couple of the nicest reviews I’ve received so far for Maya’s Vacation. But most importantly, I am revealing the winners of the free copies of Maya’s Vacation! There were six entrants and I had five free copies, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave only one person a loser, so I scrounged up another one. Thus, everyone’s a winner! That’s right, free books for Rachel, Angie, Heidi, Angel, Lu Ann, and Lisa! Thank you so much for signing up, ladies, and I hope you enjoy Maya’s Vacation. I’ll send you instructions on how to get your free book.

Doesn’t winning feel great?

Now for those reviews. Here are just a few of my favorites, though there are plenty more out there with nice things to say about Maya’s Vacation. The most recent one comes first, from just this February. Emma Rae from Romancing the Book had this to say:

 Definitely worth the buck or so for this little novella. Go ahead and judge the book by the cover. The two characters are both painters, and so is Rebecca Farrell. I’m not putting a “favorite quote” because I want you to discover the beautiful imagery in this book for yourself. I’m not usually big on descriptions or scenery, and this story doesn’t overdo it, but what is there is superbly written. Calibre tagged this novella as “Christian” when I added it. It’s not, but it’s perfectly clean with just the right amount of chemistry.

The story is mostly from Maya’s point of view, and has an excellent supporting cast. You just know Chuck is a slimy user trying to wiggle his way back into Maya’s life, and he wouldn’t be good for her at all. Dean hasn’t been pining for thirty years, and brings his own hurts to the woods. I wish we’d had some more from Dean’s point of view. I like that nothing is perfect and smooth and clear-cut. There’s regret and sadness, but it’s not the focus of the story and that’s fresh. It’s nice to know romance is still alive at fifty, and there’s always room for second chances.

At Amazon, fellow Astraea Press author, J. Gunnar Gray has the following review:

This is a remarkably fun story of a woman caught between two love interests, and I honestly didn’t know how she’s choose until the very last pages. Becca Farrell writes with subtlety and imagination, building Maya’s character with artistic brushstrokes and showing how she’s tugged between doing what’s smart and comfortable, and doing what she really wants. This little novella isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves.

And an anonymous review over at Barnes and Nobles:

If you like food, art, romance or any combination of the three than you will thoroughly enjoy Maya’s Vacation! The characters are likable and the plot moves at the perfect pace. There are cute analogies and moments the author describes that are laugh out loud funny. The story starts out with Maya taking a brief escape from her current day to day life — and that is exactly what this story offers the reader: A sweet escape from the everyday. If you’d like a short read that will give you a break from your own reality, then look no further than Maya’s Vacation.

Hooray! And looking for these reviews reminded me that I really need to keep a list of all the reviews the book has received, because I’ve forgotten already! If only I were a better organized writer…someday!

Fiction Bragging – Win a copy of Maya’s Vacation! Bonus: Listen to Me Read From It!

For this installment of my Thursday bragging series, I’m giving away 5 copies of my e-book, Maya’s Vacation! What’s that? You like to win things? Well, entering to win is easy. Just leave a comment on this post by next Wednesday, 5/9, and I’ll reveal the winners on Thursday.  Not familiar with Maya’s Vacation? We can fix that easily!

Twenty-year-old Maya knew, as she watched Dean walk away from her front door, distraught at her silence and her father’s threats, that she would never love anyone with the intensity that she loved him. He was her painter, her artist, her soul mate and being apart from him hurt too much. She tucked those feelings away, determined to enjoy the safe and secure life her parents approved of: business school and a marriage to Chuck, a successful real estate agent.

Thirty years later, Chuck has cheated on and divorced her. But when he comes back, begging for reconciliation, Maya follows her intuition and takes a vacation to think it over. Her love of art, food, and wine combine at this retreat in the woods, and she prepares for a week of making new friends, tasting exquisite wines, and learning to paint again. What she hasn’t prepared for is the familiar voice she hears the first morning at camp . . . a voice that makes her skin tingle and brings back memories of who she used to be before Chuck. Has Maya buried her passion too deep to find love with Dean again.

You can also listen to me read from Maya’s Vacation, so if you’re interested in an excerpt, what better way to get one than by listening to the author speak for her characters? Each clip is about 3 and 1/2 minutes long, and you do need javascript enabled for the clips to work.

[audio:] [audio:]

Don’t want to wait to see if you won the contest? You can purchase Maya’s Vacation now in any e-book form direct from Astraea Press (direct from the publisher is where I get the biggest cut, hint hint), Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles.

Next week, along with the contest winners, I’ll share some of my favorite reviews of Maya’s Vacation. There are some great ones out there!