Wednesday, August 13, 2008


NEWS FLASH!  --  Bell Bridge Books is giving away a free copy of MOONSTONE to one lucky commenter.  And Marilee is giving away a free copy of her medieval romance CASTLE LADYSLIPPER !

Hi, I’m Marilee Brothers…I think. I’m feeling a bit schizoid after writing three books in three different genres with two different names. My first, Castle Ladyslipper is a medieval romance written under the pseudonym Lee Grantier, my long departed grandmother’s name. My second—but actually my third—is a humorous mystery with romantic elements. The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam will be published in October, 2009. My third, Moonstone, a YA fantasy, is available RIGHT NOW from the the lovely ladies of Bell Bridge Books and my second book published under my real name. Confused yet?

Happily, I believe I’ve found my niche in the YA genre and I owe it all to the miserable creature I was at age fourteen. Taller than every boy in my class (they caught up in high school), I was painfully shy and convinced I was unlovely and unlovable. Allie Emerson, the teenage girl in Moonstone has the character traits I longed for at that age. Despite her difficult home situation, she’s strong minded, rarely at a loss for words, stands up to bullies and, best of all, has telekinetic power and a magic moonstone pendant!

I could have used a little magic back then. The memory is still vivid. A group of us playing a kissing game, probably spin the bottle. I found myself in a closet with a freckle-faced, earnest young man a head shorter than me. I dropped into a half-crouch. He stood on his tiptoes. Our knees banged together. Somehow, against all odds, we exchanged an chaste peck on the lips, our faces hot with embarrassment.

As adults, we speak of “teenage angst” as if we’ve forgotten how painful those years can be. But, deep down, we don’t forget. It becomes part of our personal journeys. Writing about Allie helped me look back at myself—that gangly, vulnerable girl of fourteen—put my arms around her and murmur, “It’s okay to be a late bloomer. I wish I could tell you…the best is yet to come.”

Allie’s journey is just beginning. As a result of writing her story, I now look into my rear-view mirror and smile. Did I just hear the sound of a young girl giggling? Swear to God, Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson! You helped me grow up!

What about you? Do you consider your teen years “the best time of your life?” Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?


Debra Dixon said...

Welcome, Marilee !

I'm so sorry to be late getting the blog up today.

We're glad you're here.

amy*skf said...

Hi Marilee, Allie's story sounds intriguing and empowering--love YA, especially paranormal.

I wouldn't say the teen years were my best years, but they were certainly interresting. The funny thing is, I'm using the "interresting parts" in a YA story of my own--except *far* more interresting than what happened to me.

bmerleeb said...

Hi Debra and Amy,
No worries about the lateness. I just returned from my weekly bout of self-flagellation. There's a reason "flog" is "golf" spelled backward.
It wasn't included in the blog, but I'd love to give a signed copy of my book, Castle Ladyslipper, to a RWTTD reader.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Marilee
Welcome and what a gorgeous cover!
I hope it flies off the shelve for you!!

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, my husband plays flog too. Rabid about his golf.

And I put a little flash up about the book giveaways! Bell Bridge is coughing up a copy of our fabulous YA title MOONSTONE.

bmerleeb said...

Wow! Who could ask for more. Two books up for grabs.

Helen Brenna said...

Hi, Marilee, welcome and good luck with your books!!

No, I do not consider my teen years "the best time of my life." That would be college!!

And I have so many embarrassing moments from my teen years, I wouldn't know where to begin. I used to blush (still do a little bit) at the drop of a hat, and I think that was one of the hardest parts of high school. Made the fact that I was shy so much worse.

If only I knew then what I know now, I'd have had soooo much more fun.

Playground Monitor said...

There just isn't enough money in the world to make me want to re-live my teen years. I'm far happier being an out-of-shape fifty-something grandmother than I was being a miserable sixteen-year-old who wore a size 5. Well... maybe we could negotiate that size 5 part. ::grin::

Good luck with your books, Marilee.


tetewa said...

I really enjoyed my teen years but I must admit that the years after were even better! What's the old saying "The Older the Wiser." Congrats on all your releases!

Dina said...

Hi Marilee,

My teens were just average. :)

Congrats on your books, they both are my kind of books. :)

bmerleeb said...

Hi all,
Yeah, if only we could go back knowing what we now know. That's what makes writing fiction so much fun! Thanks to all of you for your good wishes. And Cindy, I really love the cover too. Looking like the cover model would have helped "back in the day."

Sean and Anna said...

Good Evening Marilee. I always feel a little Dracula when I say that:) This is a very interesting subject for me because my niece is a tween and I worry so much about the teen years. At least my kids are still a few years off from that. My teen years were a nightmare- or maybe its that I was a nightmare. I went from being a tall, athletic good student to wild child almost overnight. I'm surprised I made it through those years and yet, I would not change a thing. All the trouble actually shaped the person I am now- mom, wife, student, friend. It was during those years that I discovered reading and I now read almost anything and everything:) Were they the best years- probably not. Were they important years-yeah, they were.

My thanks to Marilee and all the YA authors out there for writing cool stuff for teens to read.


Betina Krahn said...

Every time I hear some adult telling a kid that the teenage years are the best years of his or her life, I cringe. I remember being 15 and thinking: "If it doesn't get any better than this, just take me now!"

My 30's were pretty darned wonderful. I was born to be 30something. But my forties were pretty tumultuous. . . lost of loss and learning. My fifties have been a coast-- so far. And a time to regroup and forge ahead in new directions.

The best time of your life has to depend on what's going on in your life at the time, but my personal favorite is "now." Without it, where would we be?

:) Betina

bmerleeb said...

Hi Anna and Betina,
Anna, you're right on. Young adult fiction is such a cool way to let kids know they're not the only one feeling anxious, embarrassed, clueless, angry, jealous (I could go on and on.)
And, Betina, I have to agree - like the song says, "This is my Now." I get to work with two fabulous ladies both named Deb and no, I'm not sucking up!

Debra Dixon said...

Marilee is sucking up but we like that and pretend that she means it.

Everybody wins. (g)

flchen1 said...

Egads, my teen years definitely weren't my best! (Thank God!) I still sometimes enjoy reading YA, because I can imagine some ways of getting through those years in a nicer way, but the reality was full of awkwardness, angst, frustration, and plenty of embarrassing moments! I'm glad to have lived through them, but wouldn't care to relive them, thanks! ;) Congrats on your books, Marilee, and I'm glad teens will have a chance to have some reading they can relate to!

Sean and Anna said...

I read YA books sometimes too. The whole thing started when by re-reading some of my childhood favorites, like Nancy Drew and Bunnicula. I'm reading the YA now so that I can then send them on to my niece. Its a really great way to stay informed about what your kids are reading and what issues they are reading about. It also helps identify what their minds are like. It's been a long time since I was a teen and it helps to gain that kind of insight- because let's face it, teens don't make a lot of sense sometimes. YA fiction is a connection and we can all use connections.

Kylie said...

Gorgeous cover, Marilee!

Teen years. Hmmm. Had loads and loads of fun back then ;) Being teenage girls gave my friends and me permission to act weird and talk silly and laugh like idiots about nothing. But I don't know that I'd want to relive those years. Maybe just drop back in time now and then (via some sort of reverse time warp) taking with me the knowledge and experience I've gained since then.

Which, come to think of it, wouldn't be that much...!

traveler said...

My teen years were not a fun time for me at all. Not being popular nor the adventuresome type as well it was difficult and unpleasant. I was a little heavier than but was even aware of it until a nurse at high school mentioned it to me in a rude way. YA books have definitely been a favorite of mine for a long time. Enjoyable and unique.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marilee,
Your books look delightful and special. You certainly are creative and imaginative. Wishing you much success.
As for my teen years they were nothing to write home about. I prefer to forget about them. Rather insecure and shy about myself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marilee,
Allie's story sounds great which reflects your talent. The cover is striking and love the colors. Congrats.
I enjoyed my teen years since I had a great school and social life. Lots of friends, sock hops, a memorable graduation.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Marilee,
My teen years were enjoyable in everyway. I thrived in school and travelled and had great experiences. Later on due to judgement errors life was harder. Your cover is exceptional and best wishes on future books. YA is great. They didn't exist when I was younger and they provide a wonderful and rich resource.

bmerleeb said...

Thanks to you all for your thoughtful comments. I attended a meeting last night, to help plan our high school reunion. When I walked in, my first thought was, "Who are all these old farts?" My second thought was, "Marilee, look in the mirror!You're not sixteen anymore." Happily, somewhere, deep inside me, Allie Emerson is alive and well. I hope she never grows up.
Everyone who left a comment will be included in the drawing for my books. The winners will be posted on this website.
Good luck and cheers,

Debra Dixon said...


I have the winners Marilee forwarded to me. And I'll be posting a note up top tonight.


MOONSTONE -- Traveler

Debra Dixon said...


If the winners would email me their snail mail addresses to:

Dina said...

Oh, thank you!!!

Congrats Traveler. :)