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Showing posts from 2011

Five Star Review!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Best Kind Of Promo!!!

Lisa I have your book in my possession here in Perrysburg, NY.  I am about to send it to my granddaughter in Virginia.  She is in sixth grade.  She is an A student but does not like to read anymore (social life ) since their move to Va. from Ohio where there were no girls to play with.  I think your book will keep her interested especially with the super short chapters and being age appropriate.  Personally the book was a God sent to me.  We were on the way to Myrtle Beach, S.C. where I found your book in the bathroom in West VA.  Did you really put that book in the bathroom or did someone just leave it?  Anyway, I fear my husband's driving.  In the past I read magazine articles, suduko, crosswords.  All are short and of course I would look up and be afraid because he was driving too fast.  But your book held my interest especially with identifying certain characteristics with my granddaughter and nieces with Abby.  I'm interested to hear if Jess can see certain traits too.  I…


Hello Lisa, I bought a copy of your book from you at Tamarack a few weeks ago.  I actually specifically went to Tamarack to get a signed copy because being supportive of West Virginia authors is becoming sort of a hobby of mine.  I am in graduate school at the moment and with a 13-year old and a 6-year old, I don't have a lot of free time, but I started reading "Abby" yesterday and finished it this evening.  I really liked your book--it had many levels to it and I really enjoyed it.  I hope that as a teacher you see such deep thought going on with some of your students as what Abby's letters revealed.  My 13-year old daughter is miserable in middle school and has been experiencing some of what you described between Abby and Sheila.  I would like to think there are more kids like Abby than like Sheila.  This sort of book would be exactly what I would have read at about Abby's age;  I saw a lot of myself in what Abby wrote in her letters. I am 35 and have been writin…


Appalachian_Butterfly Posted October 11, 2011 You should give this book a tryThis is very enjoyable with a lot of thoughtful reflection within the main character, Abby. The story is told entirely in a letter format so the reader gets to connect closely with Abby's thoughts. Middle school is a tough time for kids and this book gives the reader the "inside" story from a girl dealing with her mother's illness, family issues, a first boyfriend, and the unavoidable "mean girl" cheerleader. A good story that is well worth the read!

Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, WV

Thank you, West Virginia State Reading Association!!!!!!!!!

Barnes and Noble

October 16 at B&N


I did It! I survived my first NaNoWriMo and loved every minute of it! 50,202 words in less than 30 days!!!!

West Virginia State Reading Conference

My mother, my son and I just returned from two fabulous days at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV, where I had made some incredible contacts, met some awesome authors, sold some books, traded some books, and actually felt like a serious author.

NaNoWriMo 12 of NaNoWriMo and I'm finally at word count 21737,,,but it's not good, not good at all. I've come to a part in my novel where I feel like I'm writing gibberish.  The not proofing is driving me crazy and I just want to go back and re-read an correct everything. We're encouraged to just write, write, write, and I know it's a good practice for the purpose at hand, but I'm at odds and running out of time...and words.
I like the sprints, though...


Day 6 and I finally got back to the keyboard after a long weekend of not meeting my quota. I'm behind, but I think I made up for it (kinda) this evening. I'll write more before going to bed.What poured on to the page in an hour astounded me. I had no idea my story was going down the road it ended on. Wow and viola! Sometimes our characters certainly surprise us! Day 4 of my total writing experience. Who every observed that Day 3 is the most challenging doesn't remember the afterbirth of Day 4. Haven't written a word today and my weekend if filling quickly with non-writing but essential activities. Woe is me!

Student Reactions to Abby

"I loved your book. It sounds exactly like my life." -Kenzy T.

"It (Abby) could be a Hallmark movie." -James M.

"Abby was fun to read because the sections are short and I feel like she was talking to me." -Courtney M.

"I couldn't put it down. My mom wants to read it next. Do you think that's okay?" - Nellie B.


Just a few hours left until  writing becomes a job. I'm not sure it's in my best interest to tackle book 3 for this challenge when book 2 isn't complete. It will be interesting to see where the plot goes from here. I write best when I just let the characters take over. So....take it away, Abby!

November Challenge

I'm gearing up for the November Writing Challenge and am determined to write the appointed daily number of words even if they do not make sense:) I figure that I can finish Razzberry Beret and get a solid start on Dear Jesse. That would complete my trilogy by 2012! (At least the first draft.)
I have difficulty not proofing every time I write, though. I need to learn to write without being concerned about mistakes. It's a tough habit to break.

Someone Famous

A colleague from a neighboring school called to request a favor from me last week. She had a student who had an assignment to obtain the signature of someone famous. She asked that I sign a piece of paper for her.
I'm someone famous now!:)

Barnes and Noble

I could get used to this! Abby was met with an unbelievable level of enthusiasm at my signing today. I am so excited that I was actually signing MY BOOK at B&N. Abby is now travelling to Mass. and to Maine!


DKG meeting in Preston County was fabulous! What a fantastic group of educators, active an retired...They welcomed my mother and my niece and myself with opened and loving arms and certainly treated us royally. Wonderful food, good company, and the warmth only REAL teachers can offer.

Very Exciting Promo technique

I left a copy of my book in a rest stop while traveling and received a wonderful e-mail today in response. Abby traveled to South Carolina, up to New York and is now going to Virginia. Even if this does not advance sales, at least I get to share my novel with a collection of interested individuals:)

Self Publishing

I know the controversy and I've studied the argument, but I have to defend SP and my fellow cohorts in the industry. All I have ever wanted is to write and to publish, but reality hinders this dream when the bills pile up and life dictates our life goals. Self-publishing has allowed me to realize my dream without waiting around for a pay check to materialize as a result of the luck of the agent draw. Sure, I would LOVE to have an agent and to sell bushels of books, but when I held my debut novel in my hands and knew without a doubt that is was a QUALITY piece of work, my dreams  all came true. Oh, yea, I will still push those queries and search for an agent savior, but self-publishing has given me hope before it's too late to accomplish my goal.
It gets better...a fellow author, Kristen Kehoe, received Honorable Mention in the 2011 Reader's Choice contest with her novel Finding You. Kimberly Norton came in second place with The Crystal Princess. These are two very impressi…


Trying to stay focused on my life's goal. It's very difficult to write full time when I already have a full time job and full time family. I guess I just have too many "full time" commitments!

Sneak Peek of Abby

August 23 Dear Abby, My name is Abigail Van Buren Masterson.I discovered your name in our school library. My seventh grade English class is doing a newspaper activity and each of us was assigned a different section in the local newspaper. Mine is Section B and that’s where I saw your advice column. At first I thought Miss Hendershot (my English teacher) was playing a joke on me and some how put my name in the newspaper as a silly prank for the “new kid”, since that’s what I am, the “new kid”. But, then I realized that, no, I am actually named after someone famous and that’s really cool. It’s like Carmen ( I mean, KARMA) and I plan to view that as a good sign for the beginning of my new school year, in a new school, in a new town. Any way, the assignment is to research something we read about in our assigned section of the newspaper. I found you, so, viola!, you are now my researchtopic! I will be writing to you in this special diary thatmy mom let me buy when we shopped for school suppli…

Helpful websites

This volume is much more than a listing of literary agents. It is chock full of information about publishing, writing, and conferences. An absolute MUST for every writer! Three other helpful websites are,, and
Thanks to James, I have a new site to post:
VERY helpful!!!!

Life Long Learners Writing Group

Awesome afternoon with a group of serious writers! Life Long Learners Writing Group meets once a month to share writing. They are a tight family of readers and writers who are serious about publishing their work and who shared with me their enthusiasm for the written word. They sincerely welcomed me into their fold, asked insightful questions, offered promotional advice, and were just downright inspirational. Thank you for allowing me entrance into your family!

Shinnston Library

Thank you, Shinnston Library, for your hospitality Tuesday. I had a very relaxing visit talking to my former student and fellow writing and reading partner, James. I am anxious to visit again!

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Abby went to the beach and, although she didn't sell a lot, she made some connections and is even shelved next to Sarah Dessen at Pelican Bookstore in Sunset Beach. That's awesome!

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Ocean Isle and Sunset! Thanks to Pelican Book Store in Sunset for being SO very nice to me. I loved visiting there and meeting Jacqueline Degroot. Thanks to Kathleen at Pomegranate Book Store in Wilmington for allowing me to visit her very special place of business. I could have just sat myself there for many hours to enjoy the atmosphere.
No, I didn't do  lot of monetary business, but the experience of visiting these places and talking with people "in the know" is invaluable!

Press Release for Abby



Meeting it Head on with a Positive Attitude

Monongah, West Virginia - June 16,2011 - Many teenagers get thrown unprepared into adult situations and left to struggle with them on their own. In the young adult fiction novel Abby, author Lisa McCombs introduces us to Abigail Van Buren Masterson, a seventh grader who experiences many changes in her life when her mother is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. By journaling to her namesake (Dear Abby), Abigail details issues of living with the repercussions of her mother's disease while struggling to "fit in" as the new kid in her fifth school in seven years. This story is a reflection of the most pivotal time in life. Rather than succumbing to depression and anger as many young adults do, Abigail meets these challenges head on in an attempt to view the world with a positive perspective. McCombs hopes that this novel will inspire young women to take a posit…

Another Speaking Engagement!

Marion County Life Long Learners has invited me to talk to them on July 20 about my writing and publishing experience. I am excited since I used to teach with some of these ladies and they are GREAT!

New Tour Schedule

June 26 Ocean Isle, NC
July 12 Shinnston Public Library
July 30 Main Line Books in Elkins
August 2 Marion County Public LIbrary
August 6 Kerri's Korner


My summer shaping up. Here is the current book tour for Abby. I am making more phone calls this morning and will begin my newest PR campaign this weekend.
June 27...Pelican Bookstore in Sunset Beach, NC
August 1...Marion County Public Library
August 6....Kerri's Korner in East Fairmont
I know it's sparse, but I'm just getting started!!!

Thinking About Going Tech

I just discovered that Abby is availavle for Kobo download....I am so confused with all the new e-readers. Which one is the way to go? My student James is in the same delimma. They are all so attractive and new age, but am I ready to give up my paper pages? I love them so!
Going to a book signing at Borders today to support another home girl, Linda Stevenski. I'll check into my own day there as well. Seem to be getting the run around.

A weekend in writer's paradise

Just got home from a 3 day mini-vaca in Bemis, WV. It's the perfect place for literary inspiration. I didn't actually write this weekend, but the creative juices were alive and in operation. I did read a bit and played around with some ideas for Raspberry Beret, the sequel to Abby.

Barnes and Noble, my newwest BFF

Yesterday I traveled with the Y-Teens to Pittsuburgh to see West Side Story and then do a little shopping in South Hills. Since I am not particularly interested in shopping I was pumped to find a B and N to hang out in. And since I was there...yep, I solicited Abby and they ordered some copies. Abby is officially in Pennsylvania now!

Beware the Written Word

I have decided that we "are what we read". After a second evening of Steven Tyler's biography, I actually think I woke up this morning with a hang over. I am going to spread his story out rather than attacking it all at once. I need to incorporate some wholesome prose to unclutter my mind.

Presentation at Monongah Elementary

I cannot wait to go to Monongah Elementary School next week to particiapate in an after school parent session sponsored by Marion County Title I. Two additional  Monongah authors are invited with one a definite. Linda Stevenski writes children's books and I am anxious to meet her...especially since I've known her family members since high school. I do not know Larry Morgan, the comic book illustrator, who is invited; but what an interesting combination the three of us will make! And all from little ol' Monongah! How cool is that?!
Sarah Desson's What Happened to Goodbye
Does the Noise in my Head Bother You? by Stephen Tyler

I just finished The Soloist by Steve Lopez


I loved writing my novel Abby, but the promotion of said story is intense and totally out of my realm of expertise, so I would appreciate any suggestions that might advance my sales and allow Abby to circulate out there is "real world land".

Book Signing

This has been an awesome weekend! I began on Saturday with a book signing at Kerri's Korner and then travelled to Grafton to reunite with former colleagues...and they, too, wanted copies is Abby.
Today I had the opportunity and honor to hold a signing at my church. Faith Methodist. Thank you, all my friends in Christ, for supporting my book.