An Opposing View: Interview with Cam from WHEN YOU ARE MINE

Hi, everybody! I hope many of you have read my debut WHEN YOU ARE MINE. I have a slightly spoiler-ish treat for you today, so if you haven’t read yet, proceed with caution! It doesn’t give away much, but it does allude to a few things! I get questions all the time about one character in particular, Cameron Mitchell. We never hear his point of view in the book, but one blogger, Ash from Morning Books & Coffee, crawled inside his head and dug around. She found some fascinating answers. I wanted as many readers as possible to hear his side of the story, so she agreed to share with some of the bloggers I love! Thanks to my blogger friends for passing it on to you!

 

 

Q&A w/Cam

Ash:                Hey, Cam. How are you doing today?

 

Cam:             Good, considering. Sorry. Don’t mean to sound pathetic. Just been through a lot lately with…well, with everything that has happened.

 

Ash:                You have been through a lot lately, and you had a difficult childhood. How do you think it impacted you to become so well educated and so honest and respectful as you got older?

 

Cam:               Wow. Not many people have called me respectful. I need a second to absorb that one! My childhood was hell. I don’t want to go into all the details, but let’s just say foster care was a big step up for me. Kristeene Bennett and the Walsh Foundation taught me not to use my past as an excuse and taught me to take advantage of every opportunity. My education, painting – everything that is worth anything in my life, I owe to that woman. A lot of people do.

 

Ashy:              What is the first thing you notice about a woman?

 

Cam:               I should say the eyes, right? That’s the PC answer. It’s true, I DO notice the eyes because growing up like I did, you learn to read people in an instant. And the eyes are the fastest way to scope a person. But the “player” answer? I’m an ass man!

 

 

Ashy:              What was it like when you first saw Kerris? What was going thru your mind?

 

Cam:               She’s gorgeous, of course. Any guy would notice that first, but there was something about her I just resonated with right away. She and I have very similar pasts, and as beautiful, as sweet as she was, she didn’t let people in. I got that. I’m pretty guarded myself. She wouldn’t even go out with me for months, and we were just friends. Guess that made me feel like the king of the world when she finally did say yes. I thought I was really lucky she didn’t listen to everybody telling her what a player I was. I mean, I was a player, but that was before I met Kerris.

 

Ashy:              Can you tell us a little about your friendship with Walsh when you were younger before Kerris came along?

 

Cam:               That son of a…sorry. Walsh and I aren’t exactly on the best terms right now. Probably won’t be again. I didn’t have many people in my life I could trust. Pretty much, just Walsh and his family. I told Walsh things about my childhood that I…that I never thought I would share with anyone. We’ve been like brothers since I was twelve years old. I never thought he would…never suspected he was as low and conniving as he is. I don’t care how many orphans he rescues or all the good he does all over the world, someone who goes for his best friend’s girl is not a good guy. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him now. That’s all you need to know about what is left of my friendship with that dude.

 

 

Ash:                Some haven’t read your story yet, and may not know what I’m talking about when I ask you this next question, so I’ll be careful with how I word it. We all understand how upset you were when you saw for yourself that there really was something between Kerris and Walsh, but some of us had a hard time with your reaction later that night. You remember what I’m talking about? Do you have anything to say about that?

 

Cam:               You would ask that question. It’s hard for me to address something so sensitive and private. Something that’s supposed to be between just me and Kerris, but I’ll try. I don’t know that it’ll make people understand or like me any more, but at least I’ll get to give my side of the story. I’ll start by saying I know it was a douche move. When I saw…what I saw…trying to stay spoiler-free for folks…something kind of snapped inside me. Kerris and I promised that we would be each other’s only, and she couldn’t have chosen a better way to betray me. I guess in a way I needed to remind myself and to remind her that she was my wife. On some level I knew she wouldn’t refuse me because of how bad she felt about what I saw. Was that right? In hindsight, no, and I still see how that may have caused more damage in our relationship. In the moment, it felt like the only way I could re-establish myself as her husband. Sex is…complicated for me. I won’t use the abuse I experienced as an excuse. It’s not. I’m still figuring out how it has affected me. I kind of thought, in some ways, it hadn’t affected me, but maybe it did. It’s still something I don’t feel comfortable talking about, so don’t bother asking me to elaborate. Let’s just say If I had to do it over, I would handle things differently. But as I’ve learned with so many other mistakes I’ve made, you don’t get do overs. You only get do betters, and that’s what I’m trying to do, starting with the family I want more than anything.

 

 

Ashy:              Can you tell me a little bit of where your state of mind is today? Like how are you doing with your marriage and everything that has happened?

 

 

 

Cam:               We’re moving forward. We’ve all lost a lot over the last year. I wish I was the kind of guy who could let bygones be bygones, but I’m not. I feel sick every time I’m in the same room with Walsh, and I’m not sure how we can get past that. Kerris and I…we’re trying. Maybe I had it right when I was a kid. Maybe you can’t trust people. Maybe everyone’s out to hurt you. Maybe you shouldn’t let people in if this is what happens. What’s the point?

 

Ashy:              Can you tell me where you think you will be in 5 years?

 

Cam:               In five years, I hope to be on my third or fourth art exhibit. Paris, New York. I want my art in museums all over the world, but I also want it on bridges and the sides of buildings where anybody can see it and be inspired by it. The streets have always been my Louvre. The one thing I want even more than my art? A family. Kerris and me, we’re on the same page about that. We want to put all the shit…can I say shit here? Sorry! Can you bleep that, or whatever? We want to put all the stuff from the last few months behind us and focus on making the kind of family we never had ourselves. We both grew up in hell. My kids won’t have that. If that’s the only thing I have to show for myself in five years, I’d be okay with that.

 

 

Etailers for Book 1 found here. Book 2, LOVING YOU ALWAYS, is out October 7! Add to Goodreads!

 

Bio:

Kennedy Ryan grew up in North Carolina, but loves living in Atlanta with her husband (tall – check, dark – check – handsome – check), and her handful of a son. Though she knew, like writers often do, that she was supposed to tell stories, the road to fulfillment has been paved with “some of everything” jobs that kept her family eating and living indoors. With her degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels!), she has focused on writing for non-profit organizations and even doing some non-fiction ghost writing. Only in the last few years did she start telling stories again.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mom, she’s also a passionate advocate for families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed at the age of two, and she has made it her mission to help as many families as possible find the resources and services they need. 25% of her royalties will go toward her national charitable partner Talk About Curing Autism and Myles-A-Part, her foundation serving Georgia families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOTE! Help Me Select the Official Book Trailer for My Debut Novel

Friends! A few weeks ago, I told you I wanted a book trailer for my debut novel WHEN YOU ARE MINE. Some folks pay to have gorgeous trailers made, and some have legions of fans, and land themselves fan-made trailers. I can’t spare much money right now and I don’t have many fans yet! LOL

The lovely ladies of the Schmexy Girl Book Blog have graciously agreed to host a book trailer contest for me. I assumed it would be easy for people other than me to come up with a book trailer from scratch.

 

It IS hard, but we have two brave contestants who created great trailers for me.

Now…decisions, decisions. This is where YOU come in. Please watch them both and  VOTE HERE for which video should be my official book trailer. I’ll love you long time if you do!

Both ladies will win VISA gift cards for their efforts! We’ll announce the winner next week!

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Scott’s HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY Release!

You only have to follow me for about a day on Twitter or Facebook to know I am passionate about Autism. It is incredibly personal. Many of you know my son was diagnosed when he was two years old, and we have been living with this condition for the last 11 years. I blog about it. I talk on TV and radio about it. I write about it. I want to live a catlytic life. I want to leverage every challenge, opportunity and situation as an impetus; as a spark plug. To incite curiosity, generosity, compassion – something will be different because I chose to live my life the way I have, and I love to surround myself with people like that. Ginger Scott is such a person. Though her child doesn’t have autism, she has learned a lot through family and friends living with the condition. She was moved by what she learned. And then she moved. She climbed, volitionally, into the trenches with our families.

Her book HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY is amazing. I am under deadline and under self-imposed reading probation, so I am reading very little. But I started hers, and it will blow your mind. It is getting fantastic reviews already! In addition to having an impressive story, she is doing an impressive thing for Autism. I’ll let her tell you about it. I’m honored to have her as my guest today on the blog!

 

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Watch the Trailer for HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY!

 

A Little Inside Scoop Behind How We Deal With Gravity

Guest post from author Ginger Scott

Before I start, I have to say what an honor it is to be hosted on Kennedy’s blog. I feel, in many ways, that discovering her was kismet. I’m on Twitter—a lot. More than I probably should be, to be honest. And one day, I came across a ribbon avatar in a stream of tweets I was reading and I just knew. There are ribbons for many causes, but this one was like it was waving a hand at me, however tiny the image was on my phone, and saying, “hey, we have something in common.”

I clicked, followed, messaged and read everything from Kennedy Ryan. She’s a fighter for autism awareness, and her personal story really struck something in my soul. And that’s why I wanted to share this book with her.

How We Deal With Gravity is a love story—and it’s got a heavy dose of steam! But it’s also a story about life with autism. More specifically, what it’s like to be a single parent of a child with autism. This book is precious to me. Yes, of course every book I have written is precious to me, but this one…this one…is different.

My connection to autism is different from Kennedy’s. My son is typical, meaning not on the spectrum. But I have family and several friends who have children on the spectrum. And I am in awe of their strength and resolve. And I wanted to write a story that was a tribute to them; I hope How We Deal With Gravity is just that.

I first came to understand autism as a journalist, writing an in-depth story on the disorder for a major magazine in Arizona. I profiled a family, but what started as an assignment to write something that I knew would be moving and would probably win one of those nifty journalism awards turned into a lifelong passion and a connection to a place here in Arizona that makes a difference in the lives of thousands. I interviewed Denise Resnik, and I met her son Matthew. And while I was amazed at the daily miracles Denise was able to pull of with Matt at home, I was absolutely astonished at the movement she was able to spawn with a small foundation she started in Phoenix called the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC).

This place was a few offices and a library when I first interviewed Denise many years ago. But just being there, experiencing it and talking with those that worked and volunteered there changed me. Since that first story, I have volunteered as a writer for SARRC, and I have watched it grow from a few offices into a building and one of the largest autism organizations in the country. And more than anything, I want to give something to this amazing place. That’s why I am donating my first week of royalties to SARRC. It’s a small start, but I hope to be able to do more in the future.

How We Deal With Gravity is told from two points of view—Avery, a spitfire, single mom to a child with autism; and Mason, the boy who stole her heart in high school and then stomped all over it, leaving her to hate him forever. Mason’s been out of town, trying to make a go of it on the music scene for the last five years. He comes back home a failure and turns to the only person who has ever been able to understand him, Avery’s dad. When Mason and Avery reconnect, they are far from the same people they were in their youth. Avery has learned to battle—every once of her energy devoted to her son, Max. Mason has bottomed out, and he’s starting to doubt every decision he’s ever made. And the more time he spends near Avery, the more he regrets not noticing her sooner.

What unfolds is a story of learning how to love in the face of the impossible and learning how to compromise, even on your dreams. Gravity is also a story of tolerance and understanding of what someone is capable of, despite their differences.

I guess you could say How We Deal With Gravity is big on hope. Hope. It’s an important word to me. It’s one I’ve heard from nearly every parent of a child with autism I’ve ever interviewed, and I’ve learned it’s the fuel that helps people keep on fighting—kind of like love. It just felt right to mix those two together. And I hope readers enjoy the journey.

HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY Spotify Playlist

Mason Street is a musician, my kind of musician. I’m a bit of a sucker for that sexy singer/songwriter type, and when someone can take an old song and make it new—oooph! That really does me in. The music is so integral to Gravity’s story that it’s almost a character of its own. But there are definitely a few songs that found their way to repeat on my playlist, and some that found their way right into the pages of Gravity. You might want to download these for a little read-along music…just sayin’.

 

  1. Greg Laswell’s version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – I guess you could say Greg sort of inspired a part Mason’s character. His version of Cyndi’s classic is so different, and it tells such a different story. And that’s exactly what Mason does when he sings. (On a side note, Mason is also a little bit Dustin Lynch—I went to a show of his with a few girlfriends while I was writing, and well…Dustin makes quite the impression.)
  2. “Tenderness” by Otis Redding. This is one of my favorite songs—ever! It sort of became Avery’s anthem throughout the story, and it helped inspire her father’s backstory. Ray Abbot is the sort of guy who probably jammed with Otis once, like it was no big deal. While I’m on the subject of Otis, go ahead and throw “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” on your list, too. It’s a special Mason moment.
  3. “Wild Horses” by the Stones (and every other cover version ever done). This song has the power to give me goosebumps—just like it does with Avery.
  4. Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues” and “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” How do I put this? Johnny Cash had swagger—and so does Mason Street.
  5. “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow, though I encourage you to check out the Haim and Lorde co-cover. It’s gritty and makes it more of an anthem.
  6. The Lumineers “Hey Ho” – nothing much to say. I love this song, and I listen to it—a lot. It was on this playlist tooJ
  7. “Stay” by Rhianna. That song is kind of how I think this story feels.
  8. “Lemon World” by The National. Kind of like the Lumineers, The National tends to find its way onto my playlists. They are haunting, and “Lemon World” is sort of how Mason feels when he first comes home.
  9. “California” by Jamestown Revival. When Mason first comes to town and enters Ray’s bar, there’s a folk-country band playing. Secretly? It’s totally Jamestown Revival.
  10. “Robes of a Prophet” by Decker. This band is homegrown—from Sedona, Arizona. I stumbled across them one day, and ate up every single song they’ve ever recorded. I love them, and I used their song in the trailer for the book because their sound fits so damn well.
  11. “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. There are a few covers of this that I like, too. But Pete still takes the cake. I’ll admit I was deeply affected by John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler holding the boom box over his head in Say Anything. I’m human, and that was downright romantic!

Coming Attractions! Design Book Trailer & Win Prizes!

So my debut novel, WHEN YOU ARE MINE, released last week. It was scary and fun and nerve wracking…did I already say scary? I have learned a lot throughout this process so far. Some about my book. A lot more about myself. Those lessons are the most precious, but I’ll write about those another time. In another blog.

One thing I’ve learned about myself…which I kind of already knew, but this confirmed it…is that I love marketing and the promotion, interaction with readers, adding dimension through Spotify playlists, Pinterest, etc…That side of the publishing process is almost as much fun for me as writing the book itself. Not surprising since I am an extreme extrovert with a public relations degree. Go figure. I have really enjoyed studying the ways various authors market and add dimension to their story. One of my favorite methods is the ol’ book trailer.

I have been living under a rock called debut for the last…months, and so I haven’t really been digging deep enough to see all the hot new book trailers. Yeah, there are hot book trailers. It’s a thing. Just trust me on this one. So, I asked one of my new blogger friends (Yes, I have blogger friends now!) Megan from Reading Books Like A Boss for some of her favorite book trailers of late, and I found a few of my own. Look at all the pretties below!

 

53 LETTERS FOR MY LOVER by Leylah Attar

UNRAVEL by Calia Read

WALKING DISASTER by Jamie McGuire

Get this. Some people have FANS who create these babies. Well, I want one, but I don’t really have any fans passionate enough yet to do this for me. So, I’ll bribe them. Shameless, I know.

I’m partnering with one of my favorite blogs (see, more blogger friends!) Schmexy Girl Book Blog to sponsor a book trailer contest! All the details are here, but essentially we’re looking for those of you who know how to do these things to design a book trailer for my book WHEN YOU ARE MINE. Deadline to submit is July 12. The first five submissions win an ebook  valued at $2.99 of their choice.

Prizes, you ask? But of course!

1st Place:  $50 VISA Gift Card

2nd Place:  $25 VISA Gift Card

3rd Place:  Forever Books Prize Pack including (MASQUERADE by Nyrae DawnTHE DESTINY OF VIOLET & LUKE by Jessica Sorensen, and THE EDGE OF NEVER by J.A. Redmerski)

Creating a book trailer to me would be the equivalent of constructing an atomic bomb, but with less dire implications, of course. I speak of degree of difficulty. So for those who can do it in your sleep, go forth! Create! You get prizes. I get my trailer. Win. Win.

To paraphrase that great hip hop philosopher and hype man DJ Khaled, all we do is win!

Remember, all the details are here!

Have you seen a book trailer you just love? Tell me about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come to Me Softly by A.L. Jackson is LIVE!

Happy Release Day to A.L Jackson as we celebrate her new book Come to Me Softly!!

There is a special place reserved for this writer in my heart! Her writing is so evocative and emotionally rich. I love reading her. I was so humbled when this New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author read, liked and blurbed my little book. I was even more humbled when we became friends. Her books will wrench you, break your heart, and make you believe in true love. Check out all the details below for  Come to Me Softly, book 2 in the Closer to You series.

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Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes

a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.

 

A second chance at life…

A second chance at love…

 

Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed?

To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

Trailer*Enjoy the trailer created by the wonderful Becca the Bibliophile*

BUY YOUR COPY OF COME TO ME SOFTLY

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Be sure to join us for the Come to Me Softly Read Along Party! We’re kicking off the celebration on June 24th with a ton of prizes, then the read along begins. Daily prizes all the way up to grand prize on July 2nd!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag stuff with A.L. Jackson Goodies!

Read Along Party Grand Prize

JOIN THE COME TO ME SOFTLY READ ALONG PARTY!

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Giveaway

Come to Me Softly Release Celebration Giveaway!

Grand Prize: Coach Bag, Kindle Paperwhite, and A.L. Jackson Swag

Second Prize: Come to Me Quietly Custom Charm Necklace

Third Prize: A.L. Jackson Swag Pack

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BUY BOOK 1 IN THE CLOSER TO YOU SERIES

come to me quietly

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Aleena Moore is content with her life. She has goals and dreams and an easy smile. She also has a secret she holds locked inside.

Jared Holt believes he doesn’t deserve to love or be loved. He destroys everything he touches. Haunted by the mistake that shattered his life, he’s fled from the memory of that pain.

Jared doesn’t know why he’s compelled to return, but finds himself drawn back to the place where it all began. The exact place where it ended. When he runs into his childhood best friend, Aleena’s older brother Christopher, he agrees to share Christopher and Aleena’s apartment while he looks for a place of his own.

Aleena is no longer the little girl Jared remembers from his past and evokes feelings in him he never wanted to feel again. Terrified of destroying her, he fights to keep her away. But her touch is something he can’t resist—the touch that sealed his fate.

Their pasts are intertwined and their futures uncertain. The only truths they know are the secrets they whisper in the night.

AboutTheAuthor

AL Jackson New Author Pic

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled, When We Collide, If Forever Comes, and Come to Me Quietly.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Look for Come to Me Softly and When We Met: Behind Her Eyes coming soon.

Instagram @aljacksonauthor

Pinterest @aljacksonauthor

Carefully Place Money Where Mouth Is

My first book WHEN YOU ARE MINE, releases today, June 17. It is the fulfillment of more than one dream. I’ve wanted to be a published writer since I was a little girl, and there are so many things about this process I am enjoying. You might be surprised by the thing that may be bringing me more joy than just about anything else. The chance to give back a sliver of the love and support a special community of folks demonstrated to me when I needed it most. I’ll explain.

A NIGHTMARE OR A JOKE?

My son was diagnosed with Autism when he was two years old. To say I was devastated would put it mildly. Maybe if you throw in confused, afraid, angry, frustrated – you might approach the tornado of feeling ripping through me that Thursday afternoon 11 years ago. All I knew was Rain Man. And the little bit of info my cousin had shared with me when she worked at a special needs camp during college. What she had shared terrified me. As the doctor’s words fell on my numb heart, and he literally told me I should grieve my notions of what motherhood would be (wow, thanks for that, by the way), I just kept thinking it was some kind of joke. Or a nightmare I would wake up from the next day. If anything, the next day took my little family further downhill. My husband came home from work and told me they were downsizing, and he would be in the group who would have to go.

I will never forget closing the bathroom door, sitting on the edge of the bathtub and crying til my stomach ached from gut wrenching sobs. One blow after another. Back to back. It was all so unfair. These were the early, naive days when I thought life owed me an easy ride with fewer bumps and potholes than other people had.

Okay. So my son has autism. My husband has lost his job. We are now a one-income family rocked with a diagnosis we have really no idea how to deal with. I considered myself a fighter, but I didn’t know where to swing. Who would I hit? The doctor? My husband’s boss? God? Felt like the only person getting their butt kicked was me. Things couldn’t get much worse, though, right? This felt like bottom my nails were scraping.

Imagine my shock when Monday morning my insurance company told me they didn’t cover Autism. Was there anything else wrong with my son they could help me with? Um, no. Autism is quite enough, thank you. My research revealed more than $50,000 a year in out-of-pocket medical and therapy expenses we needed to help my son. We wouldn’t have been able to swing that with TWO jobs, much less my one average salary. Folks, I was floundering. I was sinking. I was drowning with no idea where to turn.
We were determined to get our son as much help as we could, so we used credit cards, robbed Peter to pay Paul. Did whatever we could, even though we were ruining our credit and barely paying our bills. I can still taste that desperation. Still remember my husband waking me up in the middle of the night because I was crying in my sleep. Still remember the depressing darkness that seemed to hover over every aspect of my life back then. Parenthood. My marriage. Our finances. Our friendships with people who just didn’t “get” what we were going through, and really didn’t know how to help or understand.

IN THIS THING TOGETHER

A turning point came when I sat down with an Autism mommy who had been at this for awhile. In an afternoon, she gave me hope. Not that everything would be better overnight, because it wasn’t. She gave me a different kind of hope. The kind that comes from knowing no matter how bad it gets, that you will not be alone. She introduced me to an autism support group, and that changed my life. I found my greatest resource to be these brave, brilliant warrior mothers and fathers who were further down this path than I was. They helped me find the right therapies, set me on the path to getting as much funding as I could, and gave me an outlet for all the emotional tumult I hadn’t known what to do with. I will never forget how that group, and others from the Autism community, befriended and guided me. It saved my family in more ways than one. I promised myself that any time I was ever in a position to do that for someone else, I would.

Fast forward a few years, and I started a foundation to do just that. A non-profit organization to provide financial and emotional support for families living with Autism in Georgia. The rush I got from helping others in this way; the incredible perspective it gave me – well, there’s nothing I can compare to it.

Fast forward six more years, about a year and a half ago. I had written a novel. It wasn’t easy. I worked a demanding full-time job, ran my foundation, raised my son, who is on the more severe end of the Autism spectrum, managed his services and the “industry” that is this kid’s life, and managed to keep my man happy. (Can’t leave that out! Holla!) But there was one thing I had always wanted to do that was just for me, and that was to become a published author. How my little story went from something languishing on my laptop to a 3-book deal with Grand Central Publishing in a year or so is another post for another day, but suffice it to say, it happened. The first thing I thought about was giving back to the people who had been so generous and supportive to my family when we were flailing and stumbling in the dark. Ask my agent. One of the first things I asked her was can I have money automatically donated to Autism from royalties without me ever even seeing it. That was how urgent it was to me. That was how eager I was to do my part, whatever that was.

 

A TIME TO GIVE

And now it’s here. My book releases today, and it is time to carefully place my money where my mouth is. I am donating 25% of any royalties from this book to resourcing families living with Autism. My foundation, Myles-A-Part, will receive 10% for Georgia families, and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), my national charitable partner, will receive the remaining 15%. I had the privilege of interviewing Lisa Ackerman, co-founder of TACA, awhile back for Modern Mom. Read my article HERE to see what an incredibly intelligent, passionate, vigilant woman stands behind the organization effectively and compassionately assisting families all over the WORLD. And it started in a living room!

I understand small beginnings. In many ways, this is one for me. I don’t know if I’ll sell a lot of books, or just a few. I’m not a big name, but I don’t want to wait until I have a surplus and say now’s the time to give. Start the way you mean to go, they always say. Well, I will always give back to the Autism community. I survived the hardest decade of my life because of other gracious, compassionate ASD families. I will not forget them now.

Why? Because I know what it’s like to stand in front of an empty pantry wondering how your family will eat, only to have someone show up with a bag of groceries. I know what it’s like to choose between that therapy bill or your car payment, and to wake up to an empty driveway. Only to have someone GIVE you a car free and clear.  And when that car breaks down and you take it to the mechanic and know you can’t afford the bill that’s coming, he tells you someone anonymously paid the bill. I know what it’s like to RECEIVE! And if you’ve ever been in that humbling position, one thing that motivates you to fight and survive is the promise of one day being able to give.

To whom much is given much is required. I am requiring this of myself. It is not a ploy to sell books. It is my privilege, my absolute pleasure to give back to the compassionate, generous community of warriors fighting not only for their kids, but for the families to the left and to the right in the trenches with them. And for the kids to come.

I don’t know who Autism thought it was messing with when it came to my house, but I didn’t get the woe is me memo. I didn’t buy into self-pity, or roll over and die. I learned to fight. I learned to thrive in the dark. I found joy and contentment when happiness was nowhere in sight. Experiences like that transform you. They deepen you. They have the power to make you better if you let them. And this person, this woman who sat on the edge of a bathtub and wondered if she would make it, survived. Thrived. Lived to tell it. Will always shout about the folks who helped me grow and survive. And for me, giving back is not an option. I’m simply putting the money where my mouth is, and I do it with a smile.

Click HERE for all the e-tailers selling WHEN YOU ARE MINE!

Go to Goodreads to learn more about the book and see what early reviewers are saying!

 

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WHEN YOU ARE MINE Blog Tour! All The Places I Will Be!

I have lived with the characters from WHEN YOU ARE MINE; wrestled with the dilemmas they face, for a few years now. FINALLY I get to share them with the world! I’m so excited about all the awesome bloggers participating in the blog tours to promote my debut novel. My publisher Forever Romance and Wordsmith Publicity have organized some incredible stops for me. Forever’s tour is posted below. Wordsmith’s will follow shortly. They are still accepting bloggers, and if you’d be interested in participating, go here for more information.

Thank you!

 

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The Forever Romance Blog Tour

Tuesday, June 17

Night Owl Reviews

Open Book Society

The Season

The Book Bellas

Talk Books to Me

 

Wednesday, June 18

Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind

Agents of Romance

SOS Aloha

Inner Goddess

A Bookish Escape

 

Thursday, June 19

Smut and Bon Bons

Made for You Book Reviews

She Reads New Adult

Once Upon A Chapter

Gigi’s Book Blog

 

Friday, June 20

Gimme the Scoop Reviews

A Book Lovers Review

Reviews by Tammy & Kim

What I’m Reading

M’s Sinful Reviews

 

Saturday, June 21

Books Over Boys

Amber’s Reading Room

The Book Cellar

BookNerd

Must Read Books or Die

 

Sunday, June 22

Ramblings From This Chick

Simply Angela

KT Book Reviews

Lush Book Reviews

On My Bookshelf

 

Monday, June 23

Reading Between the Wines

All is Read with LexyPat

Babbling About Books and More

Just Booked

Stuck in YA Books

Five Questions & FIFTEEN WEEKENDS W/Christy Pastore

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I’ve been so fortunate to meet some incredibly sweet and gifted writers on Twitter. I recently connected with Christy Pastore, and was instantly fascinated by the breadth of her story FIFTEEN WEEKENDS, which interweaves the lives and loves of three women. If early feedback is any indication, this book promises to be a richly-detailed, sexy tale that we won’t be able to get enough of. I thought it only right that you learn more from Christy herself, so she submitted to my nosiness and answered a few questions about herself and her story!

 

 1. Tell us a little about your life. What were you doing with yourself before you decided to publish?

Writing has been a constant in my life. It led me to create a fashion blog, Fashion Wrap Up, which was my full-time career along with running a boutique marketing and media company until I decided to become a full-time writer. I helped fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands with their marketing and branding. I worked on the sets of photo shoots helping to create the themes or just assist with production. Ultimately, a move to Saint Louis was the reason I decided to publish. Feeling a little burned out from the corporate grind, I just wasn’t having fun any longer, and I told myself when it stops being enjoyable it’s time to move on to other passions, goals and dreams. I still love to blog, and I do every so often, but I no longer work on a daily basis with clients. I have been writing full-time for nearly a year now. I love it because every day is different and exciting! My husband Kevin and I have been married over 11 years. Last September we took a trip to Europe to celebrate. We love to travel, going to other places discovering delicious foods and drinks, not to mention taking in the beauty and appreciation of other cultures is awe inspiring.

 

2. Share 2 great influences in your life (non-writing related) and 2 writing-related influences.

Life influences, Aspire Seek Attain is the motto of my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. It holds a special place with me for many reasons. The lessons I learned as an undergraduate and now as an Alumnae are never far from serving a purpose in everything I do in my daily life. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler said once, “Bitches Get Stuff Done.” The quote is funny in its own right, and it was said on an episode of SNL during Weekend Update years ago. The context was that women who are seen as demanding, successful or powerful are often seen as “bitches,”  but they get the job done and make stuff happen.  I personally admire these two women— they are both strong, confident and very funny.  Many Tina and Amy quotes are on my Pinterest Board.

Writing related influences, I would have to say besides fashion, I am heavily influenced by music. I created a playlist for Fifteen Weekends, it includes songs that remind me of certain characters and the way I felt when writing certain scenes. For instance Michael Buble’s “Foggy London Town” reminds me of Liam and Ashleigh. The song “Pacific Coast Party” by Smash Mouth kept creeping in my thoughts as I wrote a scene where Ethan and Emily drove through wine country in California.

I wish I could say that I had some romantic or sweet influence where my writing is concerned, perhaps like my grandmother gave me my first journal and I began penning my thoughts, however for me writing was just something that came naturally. When I was younger and had finished a book, I’d just start writing short stories to keep myself entertained. I had stacks and stacks of notebooks with short stories.

 

3. Fashion seems to play a vital role in your life. Talk about its place in your stories. How it influences your writing?

I am obsessed with red carpet celebrity fashion, always have been. Red carpet events like the Golden Globes and the Oscars are my Super Bowl. When I was younger and my YM or Seventeen magazines would arrive in the mail, it was like Christmas and my birthday all in one. I couldn’t wait to see what the latest fashion fads or must have items were. I think what a person wears or how they accessorize says a lot about them. For my writing, it’s just one more added detail to give the characters life—making them possibly relatable and definitely colorful.

 

4. What in culture (music, books, film, TV, planking – LOL) has you riveted right now, if anything? Or at least really interested?

Wow! Well I am interested in and riveted by many things right now, where to begin? I was really into the elections that just took place in India. Counting all those votes must have been exhausting. I’m addicted to Pinterest. I can waste hours on there and sometimes I do. I love soap operas, and I have watched The Young and the Restless since the late 80’s, I scheduled my classes in college around Y&R. I cannot miss an episode of Scandal, Revenge or Game of Thrones because I cannot see spoilers on Social Media the next day. :-)

 

5. Looking at the books out there right now, what distinguishes yours? What makes it unique?

Several things come to mind, however I think the biggest thing that sets Fifteen Weekends apart from other books in the romance genre is the fact that the reader will feel like they get three stories in one. I also managed to work a few genres into the story coupling drama, humor, suspense, mystery and romance into one book which you don’t see a lot of in Contemporary Romance. From the early reader reviews and feedback, I’ve been told that Fifteen Weekends is rich with detail, from the description of fashions to places and spaces. One common theme that readers seem to note, is that my three leading ladies are self-assured and confident, as opposed to self-loathing, whiny and weak heroines. I guess, there are a lot of books out there with that common trait in leading ladies, and it apparently is annoying or run its course with readers.

You should be intrigued by now, people, and hungry for sneak previews of this luscious read. I came prepared! Go HERE for teasers and to peer into the gorgeous world Christy has created!

 

Find and follow Christy! You’ll be glad you did.

 

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Book Fundraiser for Mental Health Awarness Month!

 

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The awesome bloggers and new friends over at Shh Moms Reading participated in my Autism Awareness Giveaway in April. If you’re ever personally touched by a cause, you become a passionate voice for others affected. One of the Shh Moms, Denise, knows all about that. Her brother Keith Milano suffered from mental illness, and she has  become a committed advocate for those living with mental illness and needing help. Please read below for more information on the organization established to keep his spirit alive and to help others, including a list of  authors who are participating in a fundraiser benefiting this worthy cause.  A percentage of proceeds from the sales  from May 1st – May 31st of these books will be donated to the Keith Milano Fund! Please read and support!


The Keith Milano Memorial Fund was established to help raise awareness about the devastating and deadly disease that is mental illness. Keith’s spirit and laughter is kept alive through our efforts to increase awareness about mental illness and to raise money for education and imperative research. Keith often struggled with society’s perception of mental illness.  Our hope is that by having the strength to say that Keith was “Bipolar” we can strip away the stigma and help others to be more open about their disease. www.keithmilano.org

The Keith Milano Memorial Fund benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  www.afsp.org

AFSP is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.

AFSP is a fully accredited 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization incorporated in the state of Delaware with primary offices in New York City. Federal tax ID # is 13-3393329. AFSP’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) number is 10545. All donations to AFSP are tax deductible.

Authors Book(s)
A Meredith Walters Reclaiming the Sand
Alison Bailey Past Imperfect
Amy Harmon Making Faces
Amy Lane Truth in the Dark
Ann Lister Rock Gods Series – Fall for MeTake Want you WantMake you Mine
Beverly Preston No More Wasted Time
Brenda Rothert Fire on Ice Series – BoundCaptive and Edge
Cassia Leo Black Box
Zoey Foster Her Love Ran Crimson
Harper Sloan Corp Security Series – AxelCageBeck and Uncaged
Kathryn Perez Therapy
jade C Jamison Bullet series- BulletRock BottomFeverishFully Automatic and Old House
K Bromberg Fueled (Driven Series book 2)
Katie Evans Remy
Lainey Reese Full Catalog – Table for ThreeDamaged GoodsInnocence Defied
Lauren Blakley Full Catalog -  Caught Up In Love Series (Caught Up in UsPretending He’s MineTrophy Husband,Playing with her Heart)
No Regrets Series (The Start of UsThe Thrill of ItEvery Second With You)
Seductive Night Series (First NightNight after NightAfter this Night)
Far Too Tempting
M Leighton All the Pretty Lies
Mia Sheridan The Sign of Love Series  – (LeoLeo’s ChanceStingerArcher’s Voice)
Nicole Edwards Chasing Dreams, Club Destiny Series (ConvictionTemptationAddicted,SeductionInfatuationCaptivatedDevotionPerceptionEntrusted)
River Jaymes The Boyfriend Mandate
Samantha Towle Trouble
Sawyer Bennett Make it Double (Last Call book 2)
SJD Peterson Guards of Folsom series – PupTag TeamPony and Roped
Stacy Borel Bender
Susan Mac Nicol Worth Keeping and Saving Alexander
Violet Duke Nice Girl to Love trilogy and Finding the Right Girl (Nice Guy to Love spin-off)

 

Snippet Snapshot #3 – WHEN YOU ARE MINE

I’ve been revealing flashes of WHEN YOU ARE MINE here and there. Kerris Moreton suffered things during childhood that no child ever should. Things that made her doubt love…and passion. For Kerris, passion is a myth others may believe in, but she’s certain she’ll never know. When she meets Walsh Bennett, myth becomes more than she bargained for.

 

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