Monthly Archives:: May 2014

Armchair BEA: Introduction!

May 26, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 11 Comments

ArmchairBEA LogoExampleDesign by Amber of Shelf Notes

This is my first year participating in Armchair BEA and I am really excited to be a part of this! The chance to interact with other bloggers, make new friends and have fun at the same time is a perfect combination.

Without further hesitation… here is my introduction!

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? I’m Katie, 29 years old and I’m a book blogger from (HOT) northern California. I have been blogging here at Worn Down Glories since August 2013, but have years of blogging experience before that. I got into blogging because I love being able to keep a place to write about life, my experiences and now being able to add my love of books into this is even more exciting! spring 2014

2. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. My tagline says it all when it comes to my approach to this blog: “living life, loving love and reading”. My blog is a mix of whatever adventures I find myself in, posts about my relationship and how we make it work despite being long distance and my love of reading. I wanted to keep it light, fun and to capture my personality. You can find me on: Twitter, Instagram and GoodReads.

3. What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . I generally read YA the most and you’ll see a lot of it featured here on the blog. Every now and then I’ll pick up a New Adult if I find one that captures my attention or an adult fantasy novel. I love reading because it’s allowed me to explore who I am and how far I’ve come over the years. Reading has also allowed me to confront some very hard situations I faced and has helped me begin to heal from those experiences. I love to come home at the end of the day and curl up with a book and spend hours reading – it’s such a great way to relax!

4. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? My favorite book I read last year has to be IF YOU STAY by Courtney Cole. That book hit me like a brick, forced me to confront some very real situations I’d gone through and really set me on the path to healing. I walked around in a daze for awhile after reading it and it quickly became one of my favorites. It has a very special place in my heart. My favorite book this year would be THE SUMMER I WASN’T ME by Jessica Verdi. An emotionally hard book to read because it echoed so much of my own coming out experience, but man! I needed that book in my life and it was a book that truly lifted some burdens off of my shoulders. I laughed, I cried, I was angry.. but this book was powerful and had such an impact on me.

5. What book would you love to see as a movie? Shadow and Bone! Siege and Storm! PLEASE. I love those books to pieces and being able to see them as movies would just… I can’t even explain it. I think I’d die of joy, but then I’d have a lot of feels over Mal and Alina and probably cry. Anyway. I think the Grisha books would turn into amazing movies – not just because of the story, but because of the world building, the characters… just everything. Even just thinking about them as movies makes me flail around.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about me. I am really excited to be taking part this year and I can’t wait to get to know some new people, make more blogging connections and of course, add more books to that ever growing pile. 😉

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Blog Tour: All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) by Cora Carmack & Giveaway

May 26, 2014 Katie A Blog Tour, Giveaway, Reviews 0 Comments

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all lined up

 

Author: Cora Carmack

Published: May 13, 2014 by William Morrow

Genre: New Adult

Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Add to GoodReads!

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

 

My Review:

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I gave this book a rating of: ★★★★★

ALL LINED UP was the book to bring me out of my reading slump that seemed to drag on forever. I was instantly hooked from page one and didn’t want to stop reading. I took my kindle with me to work one night and once I had the kids in bed and asleep, I curled up on the couch and started reading.

I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t put it down, I didn’t want to put it down. Coming from someone who is really not that into sports and who doesn’t know much about football? I was sucked in immediately. I feel for the characters, I felt like I was right there with them on their journey together. I laughed, I cried, I swooned.

There was one quote from the story that I absolutely loved and hit close to home for me.

“I’ve found who pulls me together. You’re the only thing that makes me feel better when I’m tired or frustrated. You’re the thing that quiets all my worries and doubts and fears.”

To say that this quote hit me hard is an understatement, I read it and promptly burst into tears on the couch at work. Why? It’s everything I feel when it comes to my girlfriend. We’ve been together close to two years – she’s the one who puts me back together when I crumble, she is the one who calms me down on those bad days. To see a quote that sums up how I feel about my girl and our relationship brought tears to my eyes and made me realize even more how lucky I am to have her.

It’s been a week since I finished reading and I am still flailing over this book. I am telling everyone I can to buy it, read it and then tell me all about it while they read it. I cannot wait for more out of this series and to see where everyone is lead through the series!

If you’re looking for a book full of fun, great characters you will fall in love with, a pull-me-out-of-a-slump read and a read that will make you laugh, tug at your heart and swoon? ALL LINED UP is one you’ll want to read over and over again. I promise.

About the Author:

corabiopic Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** Novel Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

Don’t forget that you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of five signed copies of ALL LINED UP (US only). You can enter HERE!

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Better Not Bitter: My Coming Out Story

May 18, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 4 Comments

“Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I’m not sure I could.”

 

That simple line from a song became something of a theme song to me back in the spring of 2007. I screamed to that song. I sobbed to that song. I sat in a numb daze to that song. For days, hours on end. It was the perfect song for what I had just experienced, and even today – seven years later, it still fits in so many ways.

I had made the choice to come out to a group of people that had been an huge and important group in my life. I had been a moderator on the Jeremy Camp message boards for a few years at that point, I spent hours on there – helping out, hosting discussions, being an encouragement to young girls. Yet at the same time, I knew the time had come where I was sick of hiding who I was, sick of feeling closed off, exhausted with feeling like I was living a double life because I couldn’t be myself. I knew that I was potentially getting myself into deep shit, but I knew more than anything that I had to do this.

I couldn’t keep living a life where I couldn’t be myself.

Believe me, I knew going into this that it could turn into a big disaster, but I didn’t ever think it would turn into what it did. Did I question myself? Yep. Did I nearly delete the entire post I had written, spilling everything out, full of complete honesty just before I posted it? Yep. Was I terrified? Beyond terrified. I knew that I would face backlash, that I wouldn’t be accepted and that I could very well lose people I considered friends.

I was ready for that. I knew what I had to do.

I did it. One evening, I sat down and wrote probably the most emotionally raw, honest post I’ve ever written anywhere. I came out as gay to over a thousand girls in the section of the board specifically meant for women and young women to converse. Even now, I can still feel my heart racing when I think about that moment. Everything seemed to slow down and I walked away from my computer not knowing what to expect.

When I woke up the next morning, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. Initially, I was relieved (and crying) to see that some of the ladies there were accepting of me. They still loved me, they still cared about me. Did they all agree? No, but they still cared about me. They still wanted to be a part of my life. It wasn’t until later that things started to change drastically.

It wasn’t until a few hours later that everything really began to unfold. I logged back in after doing errands and things around the house to find a private message calling me a liar, that I was unfit to be a mentor, much less a moderator because I was a liar. Shocked, I closed the message and took a peek at the post I had originally started. It was bad, because of how bad it was – I blocked out most of what was said. Seven years later, I don’t remember many of the replies I was given aside from a select few. I’m not sure I want to. What I saw was enough.

Monday rolled around and when I logged in to do my daily moderator duties, shit hit the fan.

Not only was my moderating status removed (look, I knew there was a chance it would happen and I had accepted that), but I was beginning to see the tendrils of something very hideous and hurtful unfolding on the message board, by none other than one of the site admins.

He posted on the general section (accessible to well over ten thousand members, plus those who are not even registered on the board) of the board a huge, detailed post of what I had done. It wasn’t done politely, it was explicit and very bluntly titled “who loves the homosexual more?”. He insisted that he had emailed me and told me exactly why actions to remove my status were taken, yet I never received any e-mail, PM from any of the other staff members. Not a word.

Until he made that post.

He continued to publicly go on in that post about how it was okay to hurt the “homosexual” but that they must keep “them” in prayer because Satan has a hold on all of us. For a community who is based on loving all as Jesus loved THEM, this was far from it. It was sickening. It still is. Seven years later, it still disgusts me. Another staff member posted how sorry she was that she never got the chance to get in touch with me, to help me “heal” and to “shine”. For years, she had my contact info. Phone number, e-mail addresses, etc – nothing. It was all a joke to her, a way for her (as well as the other admin) to make themselves look better than me in any way possible.

In the following days after everything started to unfold and take shape, I was:

  • continually publicly humiliated
  • harrassed
  • stalked on various platforms
  • threatened

I was constantly begged to return. I had members stalking me, finding me everywhere they possibly could (several who found me on Facebook without knowing anything other than my first name). I was harrassed. I was told that I was a liar, that I was going to hell, that I would be stoned to death for being who I was. The public humiliation lasted for weeks.

The stalking? Lasted for years.

A long time friend asked me shortly after I came out, “why did you do it? You must have realized what possibly could have happened.” I did. I had seen how they talked about the LGBT community, the hate, the intolerance. I knew what I was going up against.

My reply to her?

“I was just so tired of hiding it. I was tired of keeping my mouth shut about it, especially when heated conversations about homosexuality came up. I knew it would be hard and I knew some really nasty things would be said, and I accepted that. It’s happened before to others. I just didn’t expect that the other staff would handle things like they did.

Most of all, I was just tired of having to hide it from everyone. After four years of doing that, it had finally gotten to the point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. ”

I was tired of hiding it. I was tired of not being myself.

After seven years, I still get angry. It still hurts. I still feel betrayed. I still have night terrors about the entire situation, but I can also say that I’ve moved on. I’ve grown. I’ve changed so much in the last seven years. I’m a better person today than I was on the day I came out. I’m stronger. I’m happier.

I am not ashamed of who I am. I am not backing down from the choice I made. I don’t ever regret coming out to them. I stood up for myself, and countless others who were (and are) in the same situation for others. I made a difference. It took a long time to see that, but I made a difference.

It took seven years, but I know that by finally opening up and sharing my story – I’ll continue to make a difference. I want my story to help others, to encourage others to be themselves. Coming out isn’t easy, it’s something you do so many times in your life as I’ve learned over the last few years. What I do know is that I want my story to reach out to others, and I want to be able to help others. That has never changed since the moment I took that leap to come out on the Jeremy Camp boards.

Seven years later, I’m better, not bitter.

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Life has been crazy, but I’m here, hi!

May 17, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 0 Comments

Hi everyone!

I can’t even begin to explain how crazy life has been lately. For the most part, I’ve thrown myself into work other that a much needed week long vacation (more about that soon!) and taking care of my dad for a week after he had major surgery just a couple of weeks ago. It also doesn’t help that as soon as I have a blog post idea in my head, I sit down to write it… nothing happens. Frustrating!

With summer quickly approaching (hello poolside reading!) and time off in chunks – I’m ready and excited to throw myself into reading on a more frequent schedule than I am now and blogging! I miss being able to write and to connect with everyone, so this summer I am pretty determined to get back into the swing of things and stay there.

So what have I been up to?

About a month ago, I got to spend an amazing week with my girlfriend. You guys. It was just perfect. So much laughter, a lot of smiles, big big big, life changing conversations. We laughed until we cried (and until it hurt), we had movie dates just about every night, a friend of mine did our photos and just… enjoyed the time together after too long apart.

One of my favorite parts was being able to go back to Monterey (cute story: we had our first date there last July) with friends and just explore and spend time together. at our beachThe weather was absolutely perfect while we were and we got a real treat when we saw a pack of dolphins hunting in the bay for lunch/dinner.

We have a lot to look forward to – some big and exciting things – and I am working extra hours when I can to save up so that I can go see her in the fall. I miss her like crazy, but our facetime dates help. I am so excited for what our future has in store for us and our big plans!

I haven’t been reading as much as I would have liked – to be honest, I come home most nights after work and just flop down and I don’t want to do anything. My focus has been bad lately, but I am really excited to be on a blog tour/review a book next week!

I don’t really have plans for the weekend aside from working a bit tonight (AKA I’m curling up on the couch when kids are in bed and reading) and possibly some grocery shopping, but it’ll be a laid back weekend with lots of time spent with my girl.

I miss everyone and I hope you are all doing well. Let’s catch up – what have you been up to lately? Anything fun planned for the summer? What books are you looking forward to reading?

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