Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

LUX by Courtney Cole is Here!

October 29, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

You have no idea how much I have adored this series. The twists. The turns. The lingering questions. The nights I’m up aching for more, wondering what happens next… and now LUX is here.

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The dramatic series finale to Courtney Cole’s bestselling Nocte trilogy!

Get LUX on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo
Add LUX to your Goodreads TBR

CourtneyCole-Lux-Cover-250pxMy name is Calla Price and I’m broken.

My pieces are all around me, floating on the wind, even as I desperately try to grasp them.

Who is dead? Alive? Insane?

What is the truth?

I don’t know.

I do know this: The darkness is strangling me. With every breath, I choke on another lie.

My mind has protected me, but that shield will soon be lowered.

All will be revealed.
Every answer to every question.

It’s all been leading to this.

Don’t be afraid.
Be terrified.

Get LUX on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo
Add LUX to your Goodreads TBR

Series reading order: Nocte (#1), Verum (#2), Initium (#2.5), Lux (#3).

Get NOCTE: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get VERUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get INITIUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)
Get LUX: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)

CourtneyCole-Headshot250pxCourtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would rather write than eat chocolate. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, but no amount of working in the corporate world could quell her urge to write.

Courtney was born and raised in Kansas, home of incredibly friendly people and the most horrendous weather on the planet. Because summer days were so hot, she grew up reading stacks of books… and when she didn’t like the ending, she wrote her own.

Courtney has relocated to Florida where she writes beneath palm trees. To learn more about her, please visit her website.  To sign up for her newsletter and receive exclusive sneak peeks and super-fan perks, click here.

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why my story is not an agenda

October 11, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 1 Comment

In light of recent events, I decided that writing this blog post was happening within minutes of waking up. This needs to be said.

Growing up, I didn’t have books that I saw myself in.

Wait. Let me explain. . .

I’m white, but I am not straight. I am not able bodied. I live with several chronic illnesses. I live with mental illness. I lived through a nasty divorce. I lived in a home that wasn’t safe. I lived in poverty. I lived day to day, wondering where my next meal would be – and if it was fresh enough to actually eat.

I never saw myself in books.

It wasn’t until late in high school where I finally found a book with a gay main character, but by then – it was too late.

I had already lived through hell. I was still living through hell. I was in a place where I couldn’t come out. I was self harming, I was knee deep in a dark depression. I lost about forty pounds. I wouldn’t eat when there was food. I watched a parent in and out of a psychiatric hospital.

All while trying to find a safe place to escape, and I turned to books.

I couldn’t find myself in them.

Not a single one.

My story is not an agenda.

My story needs to be heard. It needs to be told. This is a story that may save a life. This is a story that cannot be erased.

When we don’t see ourselves represented in the every day world, so many of us turn to books to find ourselves. And many of us, still struggle to find those books. To have them in our hands, to cry as they read because they’ve found themselves.

Not being able to see ourselves represented is damaging. It leaves scars. It isn’t something that disappears overnight. We fight daily to make our stories heard – we know how important they are.

We know that by sharing our stories,  putting books into hands that need these, we can change lives. We will change lives. We will save lives.

Our story is never an agenda. It never will be.

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Wednesday Words – A Letter to My Younger Self

October 7, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

(Wednesday Words was originally created by me when I was blogging for The Hunger Games fansite – The Hob. Now I’m hoping to use it here once or twice a month)

Dear younger Katie,
You have already been through so much. You’ve seen your parents divorce, you survived a messy divorce, and moved around a bit. You went through a period of time where there wasn’t enough food, lived in place to place, had some really, really rough times, but you stayed strong (even though you hid the truth from family).

You saw a parent in and out of a psychiatric hospital while you battled your first big bout of depression.

You struggled with an eating disorder (and still do) even after several doctors told you that there’s “nothing wrong”. You survived high school where you were bullied, humiliated by a teacher and began self harming.

You survived a break up that changed your entire life – in good ways and bad. It left you depressed and wondering what went wrong, but you learned that things were better now. It opened up the door to a new relationship – one that is healthy, full of love and with your soulmate.

You came out. As hard as it was, you knew it was something that had to be done. It was hard, and scary. You were publicly humiliated by people you thought were friends. You were called a liar. You were called disgusting. You were told you were going to hell. You were prayed for because it would “heal” you. These same people stalked and harassed you for months.

You survived, again and again.

You don’t know what lies ahead – you don’t know that you’ll be diagnosed as type 2 diabetic just months after your 30th birthday. It’ll come as a huge shock and will leave you wondering WHY. You’ll feel alone and ashamed when others tell you things like “you can’t be diabetic, you’re too young” or “you better get it together and make changes” or “you’re too thin and active to be diabetic”. It’s harmful. It hurts.

You don’t know that you’ll be diagnosed with PCOS just months later, even after the thought of it has lingered in the back of your head for a couple years. While the diagnosis is somewhat of a relief, it brings more hard news – between the diagnosis of PCOS, having endometriosis and being a diabetic… chances of having a pregnancy are slim. It crushes you. You knew there was a chance of this, but you didn’t want to think about. That news from a doctor hit you like a ton of bricks.

You’ll fall in love with an amazing woman, exchange promise rings on the beach in Florida, and make plans for “the big move”. The long distance is hard, but you two are meant to be. She’s your rock, your anchor, your strength when you are weak. She will always love you, for you.

You’ve survived so much already, and you’ll keep surviving. You’ll fight every day, no matter how hard things get. You keep moving – one foot in front of the other. One day at a time, even one second at a time.

Everything you go through now will lead up to where you’ll be later on in life – but don’t forget how strong you are.

One day at a time.

Love,
me.

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BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL by KK Hendin Release Day Post!

June 22, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

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Today is the release day blitz for BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL by KK Hendin. This book is not your typical romance with the perfect HEA, but if you are looking for something a little bit shocking, and evil, this is the book for you. It will be on sale for .99¢ for a very limited time!

 

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AUTHOR NOTE from KK Hendin:

Just a little warning when reading BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL.
Don’t trust anyone.
Don’t trust anything.
Don’t assume anything.
Don’t hope too hard.
You may be disappointed.
Good luck reading.

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BOOK BLURB:

Eighty seven billion dollars.
One dead New York business mogul.
No heirs.
No wives.
No relatives.
Eighty seven billion dollars.
Not hers yet.
He doesn’t deserve them.
He doesn’t know what to do with them.
She does.
She always has.
Eighty seven billion dollars.
He’s overwhelmed.
She’s prepared.
That will should have had her name.
Not his.
Eighty seven billion dollars.
His looks are a bonus.
Her looks are her weapon.
He’s fighting a losing battle against his heart.
He doesn’t know it yet.
Eighty seven billion dollars.
She gets everything she wants.
He’s what she wants.
Love has nothing to do with it.
To get to where you’re going, sometimes you need to step on a few people to get there.
Good thing her heels are sharp.

 

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ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

SIGN UP FOR KK HENDIN’S NEWSLETTER

Join the BEAUTIFUL LITTLE STREET TEAM

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PURCHASE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL NOW!

It will be just .99 cents for a limited time. Grab it while it’s on sale!

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | iTUNES

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

KK Hendin’s Bio:
KK Hendin’s real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she’ll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate.

KK spends way too much time on Twitter (where she can be found as @kkhendin), and rambles on occasion over at www.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

FIND KK HENDIN:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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Worn Down Glories: My Life with Chronic Illness

June 19, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 1 Comment

Some of you may have seen my more frequent Instagram updates on my health and my struggle with several chronic illnesses. In an attempt to be more open and more brave – I’ve used that platform to begin documenting my struggles.

Then it dawned on me… I can still do that, but also use this blog to reach others who may not use Instagram and draw in a whole new crowd in addition to my beloved bookish community I am part of.

It’s been a rough road to get to where I am – to make this choice to incorporate my love with books and be more open about what I struggle with. It’s been back and forth, thinking I’ll do this, then the next day being utterly terrified about this change.

In order for people to know what I am going through, I realized that I need to speak about it. I need to talk about what I’m struggling with – the good and the bad, the ugly days, and the days where just getting out of bed seems impossible.

In order to reach a wider audience and reach out to those who are struggling as I am, I can’t keep quiet anymore. I have to step out, I have to speak up. No one will know what is going on with me, if I’m having a bad day if I don’t say it.

It’s terrifying.

It’s terrifying to start to become this open, to know that I may lose people. To know that when I open up this way, people could think “oh, she’s just making this up for attention” or “it’s all in your head, Katie”. I’ve been there. It hurts. It’s terrifying to know that it could happen again – but I know that I have to speak up.

This is me, being brave every day as I battle several chronic health conditions – none of which have a cure. This is still the same girl who loves to read and gush about books, who loves to support her favorite authors – but this same girl is sick. I may not look sick, but I am sick. Every day is a struggle.

All I want to do is to be able to inspire, encourage and be there for others going through similar circumstances. I want to show everyone that yes, you can live with chronic illness – it is hard, but I fight every day and I will never stop fighting. ♥

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THIS LOVE by Anna Bloom – RELEASE DAY LAUNCH!

June 2, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

We’re having the release day launch for THIS LOVE by Anna Bloom! We are so excited about this fantastic new contemporary romance. Anna is giving away a kindle, and sharing an excerpt with us! Be sure to check it all out!

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Release Day Launch Participants:

The Other Side of the Shelf

Stephanie Witter

Happily Ever After…Book Blog

Kimmy Loves to Read

Southern Belle Book Blog

kimberlyfaye reads

Mischievous Reads

This Wacky Momma Reads

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions

Comfort Books

Dayreader Reviews

Kelly’s Kindle Konfessions

Adventures in Writing

The Dark Realm

promoting authors with read along with sue

Lady Amber’s Reviews

Indy Book Fairy

Cocktails and Books

Boundless Book Reviews

Kindle and Me

Us Girls & A Book

Musings of the Book-a-holic Fairies, Inc.

Cosying Up With Books

Evermore Books

2 Greek Girls Reading

Between The Lines

Jackie’s Book World

Books, Coffee & Passion

Books Can Take You There

Battery Operated Book Blog

Bawaka’s Book Fair

reading away the days

Mikky’s World Of Books

Rusty’s Reading

An Aussie Girls WILD Boo Addiction!

Collector of book boyfriends

deal sharing aunt

I Bookin’ Love to Read

I Dare You To Read

Love Affair with Fiction

Got Nikki?

She Reads New Adult

What Is That Book About

Paola’s Bookshelf

I Read Indie

Musings In Fiction Alley

Lost in a Book Blog

The Phantom Paragrapher

Holly’s Hot Reads

Cafinated Reads

Country Gals Sexy Reads

Renee Entress’s Blog

A Cup and A Book

Best Book Boyfriends

Jax’s Book Magic

undercover book reviews

Reading Bliss

We’re Jumpin’ Books

Stephanie Witter

DANIELRIDING.com

Penny for My Thoughts

This Wacky Momma Reads!

I Dare You To Read

Between The Lines

Reads All the Books

Boundless Book Reviews

New Adult Addiction

Worn Down Glories

Ceres Books World

What Is That Book About

Romance Obsessed Book Blog

Writing Pearls

Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

Comfort Books

lustful literature

A Novel Kind of Bliss

Tifferz and Her Sisterz Book Reviewz

The Consummate Reader

Romance Bytes

undercover book reviews

The Other Side of the Shelf

Kelly’s Kindle Konfessions

Musings In Fiction Alley

Reviews from the Heart

Dark Seraph Book Blog

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs

The Dark Realm

Summers Book Blog

grownupfangirl

Book Butterfly in Dreamland

Best Book Boyfriends

Love Us Some Books

reading away the days

I Bookin’ Love to Read

my midnight fantasies

Book Starlets

Lady Amber’s Reviews

Zili in the Sky

Jax’s Book Magic

Books Need TLC

Books, Books The Magical Fruit

Love Affair with Fiction

G & Co. Book Blog

One Book Boyfriend At A Time

Nerdy Book Freak


This Love 2
This Love Synopsis:

Amber’s always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as she graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son’s mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who’d rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends’ warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she’d always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt:

My former home looked on the very edge of being derelict. The four walls have never provided the warmth and comfort a childhood home should, but seeing it in a state of disrepair, littered with dirty china, lined with old newspapers and filmed in a greasy layer of dust made me doubt my choice of leaving ten years ago more than ever, and my decision to come back.

I did the right thing. Didn’t I?

You see, I’m the grown up now. Ten years ago I left home, my heart broken, and my ego bruised. With the hindsight of age, I realise my heart wasn’t really that broken, I probably wasn’t even really that in love. For the last ten years I’ve only had room for Isaac in my heart. Isaac is mine.

 

Dragging my mind back from my sadly lacking welcome home yesterday, I keep my mind on the present and scan the shelves of the grocery store searching for anything my mother might like to eat. The shop hasn’t changed at all. The floor still has the same unique surface texture of sticky and slippery. The bread still has to be eaten today because tomorrow morning it will get a cloying smell that hits you in the face when you open the bag. And the shelves are all still precariously balanced with an unpredictable selection of tins: spam next to peaches, tinned spaghetti next to sanitary towels and shoelaces next to the cheese.

The question is, what do women with early onset dementia like to eat? This morning she was cooking cat food. I didn’t know she’d ever owned a cat. My shock at her deteriorated condition mingled in an unpleasant way with the stench of hot Whiskers, my anxiety and guilt quickly transformed into frustration when she kept calling me Cynthia, which is her sister’s name. “I’m Amber,”I kept saying over and over again, my attempt to keep my voice light seriously pushed to the border of shouting, but she just looked at me blankly with no flicker of recognition on her face.

I’m just grabbing another loaf of bread because I’m sure Isaac will want his standard half a loaf and marmite for breakfast, when the door of the shop chimes. Ignoring it, I continue to load my arms with pretty much anything I can see.

A packet of McVities Chocolate digestives wiggles it’s way free from under my armpit and rolls beneath a shelf just as I hear the shop assistant call to the newcomer, “Morning, Mrs. Bale, what can I do for you?”

Mrs. Bale. I stop.

Mrs. Bale.

Last time I was here, Mrs Bale was dead. Interesting.

Anna Bloom Bio:

anna bloom bio pictureAnna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer with the sole ambition of writing about life as it happens. Dedicated to real characters, real problems and real romance Anna writes tales to stir your heart and head. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two young children, working in a local school and writing swoon worthy romance for Mature Teen and Adult readers, she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys and talking to the voices in her head- all in the name of her art.

Links:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Author Goodreads

Enter Anna’s giveaway!

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NOWHERE BUT HERE by Katie McGarry RELEASE BLITZ!

May 26, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry’s NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’sThunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!!

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Amazon ** Kobo ** BAM ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

About NOWHERE BUT HERE:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

 

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NOWHERE BUT HERE Trailer:

 

Ready for more? Dive into a excerpt from NOWHERE BUT HERE!

From Oz’s Point of View. Set up: Emily has been separated from her parents and after a long night of worrying, her emotions and exhaustion catch up to her and it causes Oz to have his first fluttering of emotion for Emily.

WIND BLOWS IN FROM THE NORTH AND A FEW pieces of Emily’s dark hair sweep across her face. One min­ute Emily’s a bright flame, then a gust snuffs out her light. Her body sways like a top at the tail end of a spin and I lunge forward.

Emily’s knees give out and her eyes roll back into her head. I catch her inches before she crashes onto the porch. She’s light as I swing her into my arms and her head circles onto my shoulder, reminding me of one of those rag dolls Violet used to play with when we were kids.

“Emily!” Eli’s on top of me, attempting to yank her out of my arms. “Open your eyes.”

Her eyelids flutter, but remain closed as her hand limply clutches my shirt. Eli rams his arms underneath mine and he makes Emily a rope in a tug-of-war. I should let her go. I should want to let her go, but then Emily goes and screws it up for me. “Oz.”

It was a damn whisper, but I heard my name on her lips and so did Eli. His eyes flash to mine and Cyrus’s words repeat in my mind. That girl trusts you. And screw us both for that.

“She’s exhausted,” I say. “Hasn’t slept at all tonight.”

Eli’s expression hardens as he glares at me. I’ve seen Eli throw a coma-inducing punch for less defiance and I readjust the sleeping girl in my arms. A reminder if he decks me now, he’ll be putting his daughter at risk.

Temporarily surrendering, Eli cups Emily’s face in his hands and angles her toward him. “Emily, please open your eyes.”

She does. It’s barely a crack and they’re completely glazed.

“Everything’s going to be okay,” Eli affirms.

“I want my mom and dad,” she mumbles.

“You’ll see them tomorrow.” Eli pushes a strand of hair from her cheek. “You’re safe here. I promise.”

She rejects Eli by curling into me. Her head fits perfectly in the crook of my neck and I loathe the wave of protective­ness that rumbles through my body. Emily’s fingers tighten their grip near my shoulders and the impulse is to shield her from the guys gawking at this intimate scene. Yeah, this is club business, but Emily never asked for any of this.

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Katie McGarry Author PhotoAbout Katie McGarry:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads ** Pinterest ** Tumblr ** Instagram

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Special Announcement from Cora Carmack!

April 29, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:

 

ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

 

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven’t yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I’m not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

 

Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was “Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?”

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They’d make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end… I couldn’t envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It’s a wonderful experience, but in Stella’s case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said… Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, “Mine. This is my story.” I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn’t want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn’t mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, “Someone needs to tell this story. And I’m strong enough to do it. Let me.” And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I’d been adamant wasn’t right for her. Because as it turns out… Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren’t so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It’s about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It’s about the way that kind of event can change everything– how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It’s about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you’re still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…



ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

*****

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don’t have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I’ll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I’ll be able to ensure that I’m able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won’t be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you’ll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella’s story. When it’s finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack

 

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)

 

#WhenitHappened banner

And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW

 

HeadshotABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author 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 now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads

 

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PLAY ON – Promo Post (Blog Tour)

April 20, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

I am so excited to share with you the excerpt for PLAY ON today for my stop on the blog tour! I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I first heard about it and cannot wait for everyone to get their hands on this book and read it!

play on cover

Title: Play On

Author: Michelle Smith

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

 

Synopsis: In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

 

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

 

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.”

Pre-order Links and Goodreads:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads

EXCERPT:

In this scene, Marisa’s reporting for her first training session at the Braxton family’s flower shop, and Austin is in charge of the grand tour.

~

I clap my hands together and start for the first display cooler. Marisa’s shoes squeak against the floor as she follows me. “All right, then,” I say on an exhale, turning to her. She stares up at me, all bouncy ponytail and bright eyes. “We’re supposed to be training. So, first things first. Flowers: how much do you know about them?”

She giggles, and dang it, she needs to stop. Please make it stop. All these little things she does that make my stomach do weird flip-flops are going to turn into big things, and big things are a lot harder to ignore.

“It’s safe to say I know a bit about flowers,” Marisa says. “Your mom gave me one heck of a quiz during my interview to make sure I knew my stuff. She even asked what my favorite flower was and how often I’m supposed to change vase water. I mean, really?”

I twirl my finger, signaling for her to continue. “And your answers were…?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Purple roses. Every two-to-three days. Do you think I’m an amateur?”

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. I’d train her all day, every day as long as she kept smiling at me like she is now. But that smile falters as her gaze falls to the floor. She clears her throat and says, “Before we moved here, my mom was obsessed with gardening. She taught me everything I know.”

Her voice dips. Before I can ask if she’s all right, she shakes her head and looks back to me, her eyes not nearly as bright, but still as piercing as they were before.

I shrug and force a smile of my own. “Looks like we have something in common. My momma’s a gardening freak, too.” As if owning a flower shop didn’t already give that away. Strike two, Braxton.

She steps to my side, her arm brushing against mine as she gestures to the cooler. “Anyway, continue, Floral Prince. Teach me your ways. I’m sure you know much more than I do.”

I narrow my eyes. “You’re makin’ fun of me, aren’t you? Is it the apron? Because I’ll have you know, I’m rockin’ this apron.”

She grins. “I would never make fun of a prince,” she says seriously and curtsies. The girl freakin’ curtsies.

I cross my arms. “All right, feisty pants. I see what you did there.”

Her jaw drops. “You did not just call me feisty pants. What are you, sixty? Who even says that?”

“I do, obviously. And what I was going to say is, you can’t put whatever flowers you want in the cooler. This is where we keep the special order arrangements and loose flowers. Single roses and stuff like that.”

Instead of replying, her lips curve up again. My heart hammers against my chest. No matter how tough he acts, every guy dreams of someone looking at him this way. Like every word out of his mouth is coated in gold, even if it’s the cheesiest thing that person’s ever heard.

No one’s ever looked at me this way before, not even Jamie. It’s killer. And it’s kind of freaking me the hell out because I’d never even seen this girl until a week ago, and she’s got me acting like an idiot.

“What—” I cough to cover the crack in my voice. “What’s that look for?”

She shrugs and moves past me toward the cooler. In its reflection, I see her staring at the arrangements, her fingertips pressed lightly against the glass. “I like your voice,” she says. “It’s laid-back. Easy-going. Like you have all the time in the world.” She faces me again. “And your accent’s kind of to die for. But you can pretend I didn’t say that.”

About the Author:

author photo michelle

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

 

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

 

 

Author Social Media Links:

 

Website |Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of the book (US only)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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The (Rocky) Road to Recovery: My Journey So Far

April 18, 2015 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

The last few months have been… interesting. Now that I have insurance, I have been in and out of doctor’s offices, blood work drawn, trips to the pharmacy have been more than I can count – but it’s all part of a process. It’s all part of being healthy again, living a new life and on the road to recovery.

On February 12, 2015 – I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

My entire life changed in that office. For awhile, I didn’t even feel like it was real. This couldn’t be my life. I was healthy, active and while yes, I could have eaten better at times, I tried my best to live a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic work life and balance school.

It didn’t matter. My blood glucose fasting results were a sky high level of 236. Any higher, and there was a very real chance I could have headed to the hospital because my glucose was too high. That’s a very scary thought and one that pushes me daily to get myself onto a healthy diet, keep active and make sure I take meds to help control my diabetes.

It’s barely been two months since I’ve been diagnosed. In that time I have:

– seen my numbers drop from the high 200’s to the 100’s (with a couple hypoglycemic episodes in there)

– started on two medications for diabetes, with insurance denying a third

– I attend my first diabetes class Tuesday morning

– Tackled a fabulous vacation and did well on my first big trip as a diabetic

– Proudly wear a medic alert bracelet

But it hasn’t been easy. Not at all. I still have not been able to cry over this diagnosis, because in a lot of ways – it doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem like this is my life. But it is. This is my life and I have to live it in the best way that I can to keep myself healthy. I have seen what out of control diabetes can do to people and I don’t want to go down that road.

I have had people tell me to my face that I “need to get on that” without understanding the negative impact it has on me. I’ve had people tell me that it’s because of all the sugar I’ve had that caused it, nope. That’s not it either. I have a family history of it, it’s genetic.

Recently, I’ve had someone I was close to decide to cut me out of their life because I was unable to make it to an event due to the fact that I was sick from the diabetes. I had been dealing with highs and lows and numbers bouncing all over the place, feeling weak and like I may pass out and realized, I have to stay home. I have to take care of myself and cannot risk an ER trip.

So, I stayed home.

Then I was berated, belittled, accused of some pretty nasty stuff and now feel like I have been cut from their life. All because I needed to take care of myself, because I was sick. Because I knew that had I pushed myself more than I already had, I would have ended up in the hospital.

This diagnosis is hard.

It means that I have had to make major changes to my life immediately. It means that I have had to give up things I loved, change my diet completely, test my sugar, learn my limits and make sure I take my medications every day at the same time so I don’t get worse.

Diabetes means that I have had to learn who really stays at my side and supports me, or who walks away. It means that people I thought I was close to had no idea I had diabetes until I mentioned it randomly. It means that I have had to say no to things I wish I could do because I am battling a low moment or I feel sick from the medications.

Most of all, it means learning to take care of myself. Learning that I have to take care of me and put my health first. It means that I can’t ignore the symptoms or a high or a low and that I have to act quickly. It means that there are days where no matter how well I eat and stay active, I’ll still have a high. Diabetes means that I have a life long, chronic illness.

It’s not going to go away. Yes, it can (and will) get better with management – but it’s been a long two months. Two months in and I still have so much to learn.

The most important lesson I’ve learned so far?

Take care of myself, no matter how hard it is, no matter how draining it can be. I have to take care of myself so I can be healthy for life and for my loved ones.

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