Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Courtney Cole’s UNTIL WE FLY Release Day Launch!

July 7, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

UWF RDL Banner

 

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Courtney Cole’s UNTIL WE FLY!! UNTIL WE FLY is an amazing NA contemporary romance and the fourth novel in Courtney’s Beautifully Broken Series!!

Until We Fly

 

EXCERPT:

“You don’t want me here?” she asks breathily, her fingers curled around the counter edge. Her knuckles are white.

“I didn’t say that,” I answer quietly, still not moving. Because right now, with her soft curves pressed into me, I do want her here.

And unfortunately, my dick chooses this moment to agree with me. 
It hardens against her and her eyes widen.

“I see,” she murmurs. 
I rotate away, straightening up and leaning on my crutches once again.

“Sorry about that,” I tell her. “I hope I didn’t crush you.”

With my hard-on.

Barnes and Noble ** Amazon ** iBooks

UNTIL WE FLY Synopsis:

Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good.

A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. .

The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart.

So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on. And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore.

Bad sounds so much better.

Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again. It’s not worth the pain. Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof.

But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from. A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain. Reasons he tried hard to forget.

But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again.

Why? Because home is where Nora Greene is. A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past. A beautiful, feisty thing. When Brand left, she was away at boarding school.

But she’s back now.

And she wants Brand, scars and all.

UNTIL WE FLY on Goodreads

And don’t miss the other Beautifully Broken, now available:

Beautifully Broken series 1-3

IF YOU STAY

IF YOU LEAVE

BEFORE WE FALL

Praise for the Beautifully Broken Series:

“I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love.” – Andrea, The Bookish Babe

“Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book…reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had.” –Amanda, Globug and Hootie Need a Book

“In If You Leave, we continue the wild ride Courtney Cole started us on in If You Stay. This raw story of heartbreak and hope solidifies Cole’s standing as a rising star in hot contemporary romance.”New York Times Bestselling author of Down to You, M. Leighton

“Another raw, gritty masterpiece with a sexy-as-hell Army Ranger to swoon over.” — K.A. Tucker, author of Ten Tiny Breaths

HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

 

 

Website |Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp|Pinterest

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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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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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LoveAThon: Dear Gale…

February 15, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 6 Comments

loveathon

I have to admit, I had a hard time thinking about this one, but once I thought about the series that really brought me back into reading it was obvious who I was going to write my letter to. For those that know me fairly well – it should come as no surprise to see who it is.

Dear Gale Hawthorne,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know, I know – you probably don’t even want to be my Valentine, but I wanted to ask anyway. You probably have your eyes on Katniss, and you know.. all those girls at school probably want you to themselves. Still, I’m writing to YOU because you need to hear what I’m going to tell you.

You are amazing. You are. Okay, look – you can be grumpy, but I don’t blame you. I’d be grumpy too – Katniss is stubborn and you’ve got a lot on your plate.  You are caring for your family. Your mother, two brothers and a baby sister. You’ve promised Katniss that you would watch out for her family too if she was ever reaped into the Games.

You love your family so much, and you care about Katniss so much – that’s why I adore you. I know things are difficult and you are craving change, but just remember that you are setting an example to those around you about how they should love and care for each other. All they have to do is look at you and the way that you care for your family and the Everdeen family.

You are always there when Katniss needs someone, even if she doesn’t talk much or knows how to explain how much she really cares for you. You listen to her. You are her best friend. You help each other out and you are her strength. She couldn’t have gotten this far without you. Remember when you met in the forest for the first time? Exactly. She wouldn’t be where she is today without you around.

Most of all, I love how you fight for what you believe in – a changed world, a better life for your family and friends. You just want things to change so that everyone can be happy and not struggle. I don’t blame you. I want the same for my family. I hate that times are rough, but just like you – I do what I can to support them and I work hard in order to do so.

You don’t have to pick me as a Valentine, but just know that someone thinks of you and believes in you. You are amazing, Gale.

Love,

Katie

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The Whirlwind Life of Katie #1!

February 8, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 0 Comments

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

How did January go by so fast?! How is it almost the middle of February?!

January was an interesting month for me, to say the least. There were ups and downs, a big reading slump just after the start of the new year, big choices to make and a whole bunch of other stuff to get through. The month went by too fast and I still find myself sometimes thinking it’s still January. OOPS.

SCHOOL: I was supposed to start pre-algebra at the end of January because I had to retake the class. I snagged the only class available to me – a 7am class that was four days a week. I hated getting up that early, but if I have to retake it… I have to take whatever class I can get. I went into it with high hopes for the semester and knowing I’d work hard to pass this time around.

HAHAHAHAHA.

I knew within the first ten minutes of class for the day that I was in some deep shit.

It turns out that my professor for the semester was pretty much refusing to teach in class (and it was a lecture format course!) and straight up told us the following:

1. He’d assign  homework but he’d never collect it, OR correct our errors.

2. All grades were only based on exams, so for someone like me with horrible text anxiety? NOPE.

3. Our ‘study guides’ were copying word for word the vocabulary out of the chapter section with no actual math problems to review.

Needless to say, I dropped two days later and it was the best choice I could have ever made for myself. I was feeling burnt out on class anyway and needed a break, but I was also not going to allow myself to stay in a class where I wasn’t being taught the material and would fail. I was hesitant because I need to take the course, but I did what was best for me.

I took my book back, got my $70 refunded and dropped the course.

WORK: It’s been good – hectic, but good. I had to miss two days at the beginning of January because I was really sick, but I am back to work and haven’t had to take any time off. I think I have the next two Monday’s in a row off, which is really nice. I’ve done two late nights this week and they’ve worn me out.

Best part? I got a raise at the end of January! I’m STILL so excited!

WHAT I READ: The only two books I read in January were THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green and ME SINCE YOU by Laura Wiess. Both books were amazing, yet emotionally draining and devastating. Both were well written and realistic and made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut multiple times. Still, I loved both books.

I wanted to read more but then I got hit with a reading slump.

The end of the month came in with INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi, which I finished earlier this week and absolutely adored. I’ll leave that one for my next monthly wrap up post.

OTHER (RANDOM STUFF): I got to hang out with friends a bit in January which included – going to dinner a couple times, planning my girlfriends perfect Valentine’s Day present, the niece is officially walking now and the best part? My ugly, uncomfortable and stupid cast came off! One of my favorite adventures of the month was exploring Folsom Lake (dry, dry, dry due to drought here in California).

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

Over all, it was a decent month of abnormally dry and warm weather here and I’m currently bundled up inside with hot tea while we face our first “big” winter storm. I’m going to curl up in bed with some breakfast, a good book and hot tea.

How was January for YOU? Anything fun and/or exciting happen? What did you read? I’m hoping your year is off to a good start and I’m looking forward to catching up with you!

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Feature and Follow Friday!

January 16, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 57 Comments

featuredbloggerHosted by Parajunkee, and Alison!

Hi everyone!

First let me just say how excited and thankful I am for this opportunity. I want 2014 to be the year where I finally get my blog up and running and have fun. Reading and making new friends has always favorites of mine, so I when I started blogging I knew I had found the right place for me – a community who welcomes me with open arms and friendship.

I’m Katie, a twenty-something girl living in Northern California. I’m a student at a local community college and working with kids part time. I’m usually found curled up with a book, watching tv/a movie, or spending time with my family/friends and my girlfriend. I’m incredibly laid back and I love exploring Northern California with my family/friends on weekends or vacations.

The question of the week is…Who is your blogger BFF? Tell us a little bit about him or her? If not tell us why you need or don’t need a blogger BFF.

Hands down, my girlfriend Molli over at Books and Whimsy! Molli the one who really inspired me to start reading again, but she also encouraged me to start blogging in the first place. Even though I’ve had a hard time getting my blog up and running, she has always been encouraging, supportive and reminds me to blog how I want to blog and to always, always have FUN blogging.

We’ve read some amazing books together, made some amazing bookish memories and I know that she will always be at my side. Without her I wouldn’t have even known about the blogging community or any of the amazing books I’ve come across in my short time of blogging.

If you don’t know Molli yet, you really should get to know her. She is so amazingly sweet and kind and always willing to help others. She’s told me about so many books that have touched me. We have so much fun together, we laugh until we cry and she makes me the happiest girl ever. Not only do I love her very much, but I am so incredibly happy to have her as my blogger BFF and in my life.

I can’t wait to get to know everyone and make some great new blogger friends! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

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New Year, New Features!

January 16, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

Hi everyone!

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks brainstorming new ideas for the blog that will keep me inspired, excited and managed to come up with some new features that I can’t wait to share with everyone. I’ll tell you all about them shortly, but first I wanted to catch you up on my year so far.

The great news? My hand isn’t broken! I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I’m still in and out of a splint until I regain my strength, but that nasty half cast like splint is gone and in the trash. This makes it so much easier to do everything – typing was impossible, eating was a challenge and I couldn’t hold a physical book, ugh! Plus it left me stressed over what I’d do if it was broken and the semester started.

I caught a massive head cold that turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection and had to miss two days of work because of it, but the rest sure helped. I bounced back quickly and I’m back at work and learning a new routine for the month. The girls and family are doing great and have lots of fun activities going on that keep them busy. I’m happy to be back and the winter break was much needed and refreshing.

Reading? Oh, yes.

I’ve read two books this year so far and loved, loved, LOVED both! ME SINCE YOU was amazing and heartbreaking and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS killed me, but left me reflecting on life and those who make an impact in mine. I’ll review both soon. I’ve started my third book but haven’t had much reading time while I adjust to a new work schedule, but I hope to finish reading it this weekend.

As for the new features…

HEART TO HEART: I’ll use this feature/column for posts that could be tough in subject matter, or when I really just feel like opening up to everyone. Posts featured here could be on family bumps in the road, my coming out experience, health issues, etc. I want to use this feature to reach out to others and remind them they are NOT alone. This will also feature books that inspired me and touched me in a way that tie into a topic.

THE WHIRLWIND LIFE OF KATIE: General life updates, more than likely in the form of a monthly wrap up posts. It’ll include funny stories from day to day life, photos, favorite books I’ve read, etc. I’ll try to include things like my updated reading goal number and a discussion question. Totally laid back, random and fun – just like me!

I have an exciting feature coming up soon that I’m starting with my girlfriend Molli of Books and Whimsy that I am super thrilled about. We had such a fun time tossing around names and ideas and once she said it? We knew that was it! I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

I hope everyone is having a great 2014 so far and I can’t wait to catch up with you! Stay tuned for a lot of fun over here. 🙂

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A look back on 2013

December 31, 2013 Katie A Uncategorized 2 Comments

2013  was quite the year for me, and it’s hard to believe that the year is over. It really feels like the entire year flew by. There were good moments, great moments, memories that will last a lifetime and moments I’d really like to forget (but I know that those are the ones that make me stronger).

READING: While I don’t think I’ll make my goal of 30 books in 2013, I’ve come really close! This year was more hectic than I though it’d be and a math class overtook my life so reading fell off the charts. I also encountered a reading slump or two that factored in. Overall, I’m really thrilled with the books I’ve read this year!

Most of the books in some way touched me. These books made me take a step back and reflect on who I am as a person, what I’ve gone through and how far I’ve come. I was able to heal some old hurts just by reading these books. I was able to find myself lost in a whole new world in many of them.

I can’t wait to see what books 2014 brings my way, so if you have any suggestions – I’ll add them to my ever growing TBR list!

LOVE: What a year for love. When I think about 2013 – I think about falling in love this past July. Molli spent a few days out here in California with me and I wouldn’t trade those days in for anything. We fell in love in Monterey, in late nights talking until we fell asleep and in all the silly things we did. We had breakfast on the beach and our first date. Our first kiss was the 4th of July.

We celebrated one year together. We’ve grown closer and more in love. We’ve made our FaceTime dates a thing that work and keep us up late even though we both say we need to go to bed. We spent summer mornings and afternoons napping in each others arms.

2013 was our year – as we said it would be – and I am so excited to see what 2014 brings for us. I’m counting down the days until I have her in my arms again.

Adventures: I did quite a bit this year! I went to my first book signing in the Bay Area where I met Jessi Kirby and was able to thank her in person for the book that touched me. I met and had brunch with Tamara Ireland Stone and later on attended the launch party for Time After Time. I welcomed a new niece into the world and it’s such a joy seeing her grow up. I surprised Molli with a “defaced” copy of UNRAVEL ME for her birthday (such a hard secret to keep!).

I celebrated seven years at my job. I had ups and downs. I met new friends who have become more than friends to me – they’re like family. I learned that some friendships can work best with distance, I became closer to my closest friends. I’ve grown in a year and I’m more confident in who I am.

I’ve started to live my life completely out as a lesbian and have pushed those who don’t accept me out of my life. I’ve worked hard to get the toxic relationships out of my life in 2013 and kept them out. I’ve faced challenges of my past and growing up, but they made me stronger.

And then at the end of the year… I fell going to the store and I’m dealing with a possible broken hand. How fun!

LOOKING AHEAD….

I want 2014 to be even better than 2013. I want to read more books than I did this year. I want to love more. I want to travel more. I want to spend more time with loved ones. I want to write more. Take more photos. I really want to blog more, even if it isn’t a review – I need to get back into blogging.

There are a few things I’m looking forward to in the new year and I’ll use this list to end 2013 with.

1. Seeing my girlfriend again in April. Expect a lot of photos and happiness.

2. Books! So many books to look forward to, I don’t even know where to begin.

3. Traveling. Yosemite, Monterey, (hopefully) San Francisco, I’d love to get to Disneyland for my 30th. I wanna get out to TN to where my girl is to see her and her friends/family.

4. Laughter. I’m really a big kid at heart and a goof (ask my girlfriend!). I want to laugh more in 2014.

5. Love. 2013 was full of love, but I want 2014 to be filled with even more love. ♥

Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for sticking with me and being so supportive and encouraging this year. I can’t wait to bring in 2014 and spend more time with you!

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Making it Work: My Long Distance Relationship

August 22, 2013 Katie A Uncategorized 4 Comments

ImageI’ve had quite a few people ask me about how I’m doing in terms of being in a long distance relationship and how we are making it work. Look, I won’t lie – being apart is hard. Harder than I ever expected it would be, but we know that we want to be together, to have a life together – and so we’ll deal with the distance and make it work.

We always do.

We always have.

When she left to go back home to Tennessee (I’m in California), it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. In just a few short days that passed all too quickly, we had become so comfortable together. Being apart was something I dreaded. I knew that I wanted to be with her, not away from her.

We have made it work, there are days that are much harder than others – but we know that for now, all of this will be worth it in the end. We have some pretty exciting plans ahead of us for our future,  but there are things we are doing in the meantime to make everything work and make the distance bearable.

FaceTime Dates: Oh my goodness. This help so much. I can see her. She can see me. She can see all the stupid expressions I make and we can just be together despite the distance. We try to have a FaceTime date at least once a week if we can, and that really helps so much.

It gives both of us a chance to see each other and really spend time together. It’s something we both really look forward to and even though it hates us and keeps disconnecting on date nights, we deal with it. 😉

Text Messages: To be pretty honest, we are usually texting all day long. It isn’t the same as hearing her voice or seeing her through a FaceTime call, but it helps because we are still in contact, still talking and still spending time together. I know it will help even more now that I’m headed back to work, she’s working again and classes are starting again.

It’s a quick little something that keeps us in touch throughout the day when a phone call or FaceTime just aren’t an option.

Phone calls: Sometimes FaceTime just doesn’t want to cooperate for us, and sometimes it’s just not an option so there’s phone calls. I get to hear her voice, hear her laugh and we can spend hours on the phone talking (same with FaceTime, and it never seems like hours). Again, it helps bridge the whole distance gap and gives us time together when we can’t physically be together.

Music: There are so many songs that remind me of her, or us and I know she has a ton of songs that make her think of me or us. We’ve made a few playlists – ranging from the smooshy songs to other songs that remind us of moments together. I know as time goes on, there will be more and more playlists. There are songs that instantly melt me into a puddle when they come on or songs that make me laugh. Music is always going to be yet another thing that helps bring us together despite the distance.

Letters: It’s no surprise that we both love to write, and letters have always been one of my favorite things. I have a letter she sent me last fall folded up in my wallet so it’s with me everywhere I go. Before she left, we agreed to write letters as often as we could and the first had to include something along the lines of “favorite moments of us”. I’ve been working on it for a bit now and can’t wait to send it off to her. It’s the little things like letters that help, another thing I can keep with me even if she isn’t here with me.

Visits: As often as we can, depending on finances. Airfare isn’t cheap, we are at the point in our relationship where things are serious and we want (and need) our own space and privacy, so we’re booking hotels for visits. Right now we have a short visit planned for October, hopefully one around the winter holidays and I’m hoping to spend my entire spring break with her.

Planning for our future: We both know what we want, and we are both planning for a future together. Everything is really starting to unfold and come together in order for that to happen and it’s very exciting. It’s not something we talk about in public often, but we know that we have the support of our closest friends and family. We are very excited for our future and I get all flaily when I think about it.

Being apart isn’t easy, it isn’t. It’s harder than I ever thought it would be (and I knew it would be hard), but we are making it work because we have to. We’re strong enough to make it through the temporary distance until we can start building a life together wherever we end up. We are getting through the distance because we’ve never been happier together and we know what we want – a life together.

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