Monday, December 16, 2013

December Thoughts

December. It's always a bitter sweet month for me. I love Christmas: the celebration of Christ's birth, the tree, the lights, the family time, etc. But the whole gift-giving and scheduling conundrums really stress me out.  

I miss my family members that have passed away more than ever in December. They should be here for Christmas but of course they aren't and that is of course sad.

Also. Some of my greatest moments of happiness and lowest sad points have occurred in my life's Decembers. I met ex in the month December and married him four Decembers later. which were happy at the time and now just leaving feeling blah. We were divorced three Decembers later.

BUT Clayton and I became friends in December of 2009. We have had four GREAT Decembers since, as well as the other 11 months of each of the years! It's not like our life is perfect but we make the best of the life we've been given. We both feel like we have been given a second chance and we don't want to mess this good thing up.

I'm super sad that we don't currently have children in our home to make the month of December even more exciting. Christmases are always so much better when kids are involved. But for some reason, that we may not understand now, God hasn't blessed us with children of our own (yet). But we are "this" close to being finished with the first steps to become foster parents and hopefully one day we will be able to adopt. And then we'll be a forever home for the child God intends for us.

While all this may seem kind of personal, if you knew me at all you'd already know these things about me. The point I'm trying to make is...even though sometimes life hurts, it may be that only through going through those dark times can you really appreciate the good times. 

I feel certain, had I not experienced my early 20s, I would have NEVER appreciated Clayton. And now I can't imagine my life without him. I believe with all my heart that he is the man God put on this earth for me. But not only do I have a true partner to go through this life with but I had the opportunity to learn who I was and about the things I like. I took the chance to grow as a person and become a person worthy of the life I wanted. (Granted, being the person I want to be is a work in progress! But I don't plan on ever giving up!)

Had I listened to the "advice" or negativity of others, I would not be in the situation I'm in now. Yes, I realize it seem FOOLISH to run to Vegas and elope just five months after my divorce and after knowing the one you going to marry after just five months!  It could have ended terribly. I'm sure there were some people in our lives that were betting on this marriage not working. And I don't know what the future holds but I know that Clayton and I are committed to each other, our relationship and God.

While maybe had I listened to the advice of others over ten years ago, I could have saved myself some heartache. But I know now, I would not forgo any of those trials. I am content with my lot in life. I don't think I'll ever stop trying to better myself. There are always things a I can learn and experience. I hope and pray the painful parts are few and far between but through that pain is when real character is built. 

Really friends, what I want to say is take some risks! Don't be afraid to love! Don't worry if it doesn't work! Heartbreak is a part of life! Some seasons in life are just meant to be sad. Just don't wallow in your sorrows! LEARN from it. Be the best version of YOU! Your decisions are your own. You have to make peace with yourself and God. Surround yourself with people that love and support you, even if they think they know you are making a mistake. They can't live your life for you. You just have to know if if it does turn out to be a mistake, you life isn't over. Don't let one set back destroy your life.

I know that was all very rambly. But just had some thoughts I wanted to get out. If you've read all the way to this point, I certainly appreciate you! Leave me some thoughts or comments. Probably nothing new, nothing you haven't seen, read, heard or thought of yourself but sometimes it's just good to get your thoughts out of your own head! Thanks for letting me share!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rainbow Rowell & David Levithan @ Avid

Hello friends! This is Avid Bookshop. It's my local, independent bookseller. I HEART Avid so much! And I was super excited to hear they were having some super awesome authors come visit on November 10, 2013!

As the sign says, "WELCOME, Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan!!"
How exciting! These authors are like a big deal, a very BIG deal! :)

Rainbow and David: 
They talked about their books, read from their newest releases and A'd the audiences' Q's.
Also, it was a PACKED house! Standing room ONLY! How awesome is that?! So many people coming out for BOOKS and AUTHORS!

David, Me, and the Hubs
We have quite the David Levithan collection in our little library now!

Me and Rainbow!!

Ohhh, and Hubs gets in on the photo too! 
I can't wait to read my new books!

It was a super great night! I'm so happy Avid was able to bring these authors to our little Athens town! If you are ever in the area, you should totally stop by there! And be sure to check out their website to order books and see what kind of events they have lined up for the future!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss: A Short Review

I've had this book on my to-be-read shelf for ages. My question to myself: WHY?? Why did you wait soooo long to read this book?? Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a super cute YA contemporary.

The main character Anna is sent to Paris to a boarding school. (Horrid, right? Psh.) Of course there is a cute boy, Etienne St. Clair, complete with English accent and a French name. What's not to love there? The only thing is he's in a long term relationship and Anna came to France with a long term crush on another guy. Much cuteness and borderline sexiness with a side of sadness ensues. 

The point: this book was fab! It has possibly shaken me out of reading slump. I read this book in about a day. And I'm super psyched I already have the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door in my possession.

Photo from 2012
Authors: Beth Revis, Stephanie Perkins,
and Carrie Ryan
(Back Row: Hubby & Me)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wild Cards: Episode 1

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before but I am kind of a reality TV junkie. It is so bad it is almost embarrassing. Oh well, I'll own it. Whatevs.

So when I saw Simone Elkeles' mini REALITY SERIES teaser for her upcoming book, Wild Cards I was super excited! What an awesome idea, totally different from typical book trailers. (Don't get me wrong, I love me some book trailers...this is just MORE!) I watched the first episode and I'm already excited to see what is to come with this show and the book! By the way, the Wild Cards book will be out October 1st! YAY!

Here's the first episode! Enjoy!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Spectacular Now: The Movie

On Tuesday, the hubs and I attended a special screening of The Spectacular Now complete with a question and answer session with Athens hometown hero, director James Ponsoldt. It was a fabulous evening to say the least! Hubs and I enjoyed our weeknight date immensely. 

The movie poster for The Spectacular Now. 

We started our night by having dinner at The National in downtown Athens, Georgia. This was the first time either of us had been there and it was wonderful! The National is a little fancier than we normally go for (meaning pricey) BUT it was VERY much worth it! Perfect for our pre-Prom dinner! 

AND...The National is right next door to this place...

Cinè hosted the night's event. We'd never been here either but I was impressed. Cinè is an "art house theater" which means they play educational and festival films. It is a great venue. They hosted this event not only to support The Spectacular Now, which was was filmed in Athens and James Ponsoldt, the director, who is from Athens; but they are also raising fund to get digital projectors to use in conjunction with film. (It is a worthy cause if you are interested check the Cinè website for more info!)


Me and the Mister at the Prom Party!

Cheers! Best cream soda ever.

After the movie Q & A with James Ponsoldt (director) on the left.

Me with James Ponsoldt who was kind enough to speak with me after what I'm sure was a LONG day for him. You could tell he was passionate about making GOOD movies and that he was passionate about Athens!

Me & Mister. One of the best date nights ever!

Alli's Thoughts on The Spectacular Now movie: 

I'd listened to all but the every end of the audio book. I always love when good books are made into movies; sometimes I am disappointed and sometimes I am truly surprised. I was very pleased by what I saw. The movie stayed true to the feel of the book and I recognized some of the dialogue as coming straight from the novel. Some things were a little different but there was mad respect paid to the original written work by author Tim Tharp.  

In fact, when I got the chance, I told Mr. Ponsoldt I thought he did a good job of representing the book. He told me that Tim Tharp had been on set and was pleased with the movie. (Which makes me happy, I often wonder what authors think once their words become movies.)

Like I mentioned before, the movie was filmed in Athens which is practically my own hometown. So I was super excited to see sights I easily recognized. It wasn't over done with our "major landmarks" but if you are familiar with the area, you'll know it's Athens in the movie! (Hometown love!)

The movie itself is a magnificent coming of age story. It is rated R and appropriately so. There is some nudity in a tasteful sex scene, lots of cussing and underage drinking. All these things were pulled directly from the book. The movie is based of a Young Adult novel that deals with some very real issues some teens face. The movie did a great job of portraying the teen experience.

Miles Teller plays the main character, Sutter. I was amazed. Teller always reminds me of a young Vince Vaughn, fast-talking and funny. He WAS Sutter. 

I was really surprised by was Shailene Woodley, who played Aimee. I've seen her in Secret Life before so I just didn't know what to expect from her. But she really sold me and I'm excited to see her in her upcoming roles in Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars (also based on YA novels!).

I really enjoyed our whole experience. I totally want to see The Spectacular Now again and I can't wait to add it to our own movie collection. 

The Spectacular Now opens in more cities today. If you check it out let know what you thought about it! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Guest Post: C.A. Williams


 Alli's World has the pleasure of hosting a guest post from C.A. Williams. Just take a look at the cover of this book. Isn't it beautiful?! I asked C.A. about how she got into writing and how this book came to be. I enjoyed hearing about her journey and hope you do too! 

From C.A. Williams: 

Hi, so nice to meet you!

Well, I've always been a huge reader since I was very young. I basically always had my nose buried in a book, and then when they came out with e-readers, that was like heaven! I've always had a love for writing, being on the Journalism staff all throughout high-school. So, I wanted to do something with all of the ideas I had stored in my head that were just waiting to get out. I talked to my husband about starting to write books, which I figured he would think I was crazy, but he said go for it. And it all just took off from there. My first book that I released was Chasing Leah. I did pretty much everything on my own for that book, the editing, finding a pre-made cover, and any kind of advertisement to get it out there. I was shocked at how well it did, I was expecting to maybe sell a few and it definitely surpassed that.

I feel like Chaotic is a little bit different from the other books that I've written so far. I came up with the idea when I first found out I was pregnant, and was having all sorts of crazy dreams. I'm not really into writing the paranormal genre, but that one almost ended up having a little touch of it if I had based it on my dreams. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to go the New Adult route which is really what I love writing. The main character is different from a lot of the typical characters out there, she's not a virgin that's waited to date or whatever until she's in college, and she's not naive.  Della has a bit of a chip on her shoulder, and she's not always the nicest, but eventually you get to see her grow.

The main love interest she has in the book wasn't even in the story when I originally started writing it. I was totally going to give her a happily ever after, but I didn't think she was ready for that yet. This is the first book in the Imperfect Perfection series and while I think some readers might not be happy with the ending, which I guess is a little bit of a cliffhanger, sometimes life isn't always perfect and doesn't have a pretty little bow on it.


Synopsis via Goodreads:

Adelaide McGregor was spinning out of control, in a world of pain that no one knew anything about. She put up a front, displaying a picture perfect girl that everyone wanted to be, but no one was truly there for her. Then she was sent away to live near her grandparents due to bad behavior when her mother decided she just didn't want to deal with her any longer. Without a penny to her name and no where else to go, her life was uprooted to North Carolina. Everything seems to be changing for the better with her fresh new start until she meets a guy who flips her world upside down all over again. Sometimes you have to make it through the struggles of imperfection in life for everything to come out as complete perfection, but Della hasn't quite learned that lesson yet.

Imperfection Book One
Released: May 10th 2013
Purchase: Amazon

About the Author
C.A. Williams lives in Michigan and is married to her high school sweetheart. While being a stay at home to her two boys she likes to read and write in between cleaning up messes and being a short order cook. Cori always had a love for books since the time she first started reading and started swapping books with her mom when she got a little older. Her love for reading turned into a love for writing and Cori has enjoyed every second of it. Thanks to all of her readers!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Guest Post: Doug Solter

Hey y'all! Today's guest post is by Doug Solter, author of MY GIRLFRIEND BITES. I asked him about his inspiration for this story and I really like his answer! Just keep reading, you'll see, he speaks my language! ~Alli

Hi, Everyone! Alli was nice enough to let me come on her blog today to talk about what inspired me to write MY GIRLFRIEND BITES, a new young adult paranormal novel I released earlier this month.

This is an unusual sub-genre for me to write in. When I wrote screenplays years ago, not one of them was a romance. Sure, many had romantic sub-plots like most movies do. But for the most part, I wrote a lot of dramas, comedies, and a few action scripts. Even my first book, SKID, is more of a action-filled YA with the standard romantic sub-plot woven in. Writing “romance” stories didn't really appeal to me. But then I read TWILIGHT.

Yes, that TWILIGHT.

As a young adult author learning the ropes, I decided that I had to read it to analyze why teenage girls were pining for Edward or Jacob and why they could so emphasize with Bella. So I read the first two books. I did get a better understanding on why girls liked this book. However...I had a different reaction when it came to Bella's character.

I tend to write very strong female characters. I think it's because women fascinate me. The way they look at the world is always interesting to me. Plus, I'm always a sucker for the underdog. I'm not saying that as a put-down. I'm saying that historically, female characters either get shoved in the background, placed in only a supporting role, or there to give the hero something to do in between action sequences. One great thing about YA is that many of the heroes are girls and I see so much potential in young adult books for girls to really do some awesome things. I'm not talking about winning a boy's heart at school. I'm talking saving the world, blowing up the Death Star, leading a movement. Girls who are DOING something to affect the world around them. I love that stuff. Now don't get me wrong, I love the timeless brave-man-saves-the-world stories. But in this day and age, girls can be brave and we should show that in fiction.

Now let's get back to Bella. I think she's a nice girl. She's a quiet and thoughtful girl. Her heart is pure. And she just needs that special boy to give her life meaning. But, she needs Edward to save her...constantly. The poor girl can't tie her shoelaces without Edward making an appearance. Reading this actually made me a little mad. Don't girls want to feel empowered? Like they have choices? Do they want to feel like if they don't have a boy. then they can't function as people?

So that got me to thinking...

If I ever wrote a paranormal romance novel, I would swap the roles. My girl will be strong and it'll be the boy who will have to learn to be strong in order to be with her. She might save him a couple times and that would embarrass the boyfriend enough to change how he looks at himself. Then I thought, okay, the boy needs to be very weak. Like, maybe he's really a coward and needs to learn how to be brave. Then being around this girl will motivate him to be a boyfriend that's worthy of her. But what's so special about this girl? Why is she so strong? I wanted steer away from vampires for obvious reasons. Witches aren't physically strong so teaching the boy witchcraft didn't appeal to me. So what creature in a paranormal universe should the girl be?

A werewolf.

Yes! I love werewolves! And she can be physically strong because even werewolves in human form have all that bone structure and mass build up deep inside them. That would be awesome! A normal teenage girl who packed a big, fury punch. When the boy falls in love, that love for her will motivate him to change and be that strong boyfriend she could count on.

Oh, and the werewolves would be the central focus of the story. They won't be manipulated or be treated like second-class paranormal citizens like on True Blood. I refuse to make them into biker-gang-white-trash werewolves. My wolves will be sophisticated.

Before I knew it, I had this story planted in my brain that began to grow and grow. Pieces of ripe fruit formed here and there. Vines connected the fruit together. Bree Mayflower and Aiden Jay came into existence. Suddenly, I found myself writing a paranormal romance.

And now I think I'm okay with that. :)

Here is an excerpt from 'My Girlfriend Bites'

            “Can I just take you home and we can talk about it later?” I ask. But my voice sounds more like I’m begging.
            “No,” Bree says.
            I stare at the glowing dashboard. “How do I ask this?”
            Her voice softens. “Easy. Just ask.”
            “You’ll think I’m crazy. I think I’m crazy.” I notice my hand twisting on the steering wheel, like Bree’s hand did when she picked me up that rainy afternoon. I can’t look her in the eyes. My stomach burns so bad the acid must be eating through the lining. A part of me doesn’t want to hear the answer to this question. But it’s too late to stop.
            “Are you some kind of animal?” I throw it out there quickly, getting it over with.
            “Yes,” Bree says.
            I search her face for any sign of joking or sarcasm, any sign that this was one huge joke on me. But there’s none.
            My brain goes numb.
            “The light’s green,” she says.
            I stick my eyes on the road and drive across the intersection.
            “There’s a park up ahead. Make a right,” Bree says. “We need to have a talk.”
            Is Bree planning to kill me now? Is that nip she gave me on the train going to be a full bite that rips my neck and throat out? Letting me bleed to death in some city park to be discovered by some hipster out on his morning jog? I think the stomach acid has seeped into my vital organs now.
            I maneuver the truck into the parking lot and switch off the engine. One single street lamp casts a weak, hollow glow inside the cab. A dark shadow covers Bree’s face, disguising that cute girl at the restaurant. The silence inside the truck is the loudest I’ve ever heard.
            We sit there for a moment.
            Or two.
            “Up for a walk?” Bree opens her door and steps out.
            I close my eyes. I have this awful feeling that I know something that I shouldn’t know about. Something dangerous. Something that will reveal its scary self and rip my body apart like Christmas wrapping paper. My door pops open without me touching it.
            “Come. Walk with me.” Bree offers her hand.
            I hesitate.
            “I won’t hurt you,” she whispers.
            My shaky hand grasps hers and I climb out of the truck.

            Bree then leads me into a dark grove of trees.


A wimpy 16-year-old boy wants to find a girlfriend. When he falls for the perfect one, she shifts into a werewolf and throws his life upside down.

After his "dream" girl rejects him, 16-year-old Aiden tries to commit suicide. Yet he mysteriously survives. Now he feels like a loser with zero possibility of  finding the perfect girlfriend. Enter Bree, the creepy girl with too much hair who's rumored to be cloned from a frozen prehistoric cave girl that scientists discovered in Canada. But when he accepts a ride from “Cave Girl” during a storm, Aiden discovers this weird girl not only has a kind heart. She's also cute.

Aiden offers to help Bree in Algebra and the two become friends. When Aiden pushes that friendship into a date, Bree accepts. On a romantic night at the zoo, Bree and Aiden fall in love as the animals watch. Unlike Aiden, they can smell what Bree really is.

Bree decides to tell him her deep, dark secret. Her family are werewolves hiding from the Demon Skins, a mysterious new enemy hunting down all the werewolf packs on earth. Aiden struggles with Bree's revelation, but chooses to stand by the girl he fell in love with. But standing by his new girlfriend will be the biggest test of his life.

Too bad Bree can't turn a coward into a fearless werewolf. That bite thing is only a myth.

This forces Aiden to do the unthinkable...believe in himself.

You can get your copy of 'My Girlfriend Bites' here:

Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Doug went to college at nearby Oklahoma State where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film production and worked in local television for 20 years. Doug began writing screenplays in 1998 and became a 2001 semi-finalist in The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His script Father Figure was one of 129 scripts left from 5,489 entries. His tenth script, Rail Fan, became a quarter-finalist in 2009. Soon after, Doug made the switch to writing young adult novels in 2008. Skid, a young adult novel set in the world of Formula 1 racing, is his first.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Sidekick Chronicles

Alli is a horrible book blogger. I said I'd post reviews on the books I've read and I have REALLY, REALLY been slacking. In fact, this review I've had written for at least a month or more and just haven't posted! Anyways, finally. Here it is! I enjoyed this one so I hope you guys check it out! And hopefully more posts from Alli soonish!

Image from

Title: Sidekick Chronicles (A Gryphon Series Novella)
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: YA
Source: Review copy from author.

I enjoyed the Sidekick Chronicles novella. It gave insight to Keni, Grams, and Gabe that we haven't gotten from the first two books that were more focused on Celeste's side of the story.

It changed my perspective on Keni a little bit. She's still pretty air-headed but this story lent her a little more likability, vulnerability and relate-ablity to me. I hate that she had to experience some heartbreak but I think it will be good for her in the long run. You live and learn. Painful experiences as well has happy ones make us the people we are so I think this will be good for her character development.

I just love Grams. She's really the best character in my opinion! She's old and a little crazy but she has an eclectic fashion sense I can appreciate! She's set in her ways but she cars about her grand babies and their significant others so much. It makes me sad I didn't have a chance to get to know my own grandmothers better. :( I'd like to think they were a lot like Grams.

Gabe's story is wow. I'm not sure what to think. At first I thought I was going to have to hate him. He's a little creepy/stalkery/is he some kind of dark-sided murderer now? But his story "ended" kind of sweetish note, I guess... And had me wanting to race on to book 3.

I just feel like the author is still playing her cards close. I think there is A LOT more going on than we, the readers, are privy to. I find that infurating and irresistible at the same time. I get irritated I don't know more but it also keeps me reading. I give Sidekick 4 out of 5 stars. I'm really digging this series, I'd recommend it to any YA fantasy fans. Well, I'm off to read book 3. Here's to hoping for some answers!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Where in the World has Alli been?

Hello! I feel like it has be FOREVER since I've really blogged and given you guys any real original content. And it's true. I haven't. I've totally been neglecting my poor blog. On the plus side...I have been reading so, there's that. 

I just haven't felt good lately. I'm back on night shift again. And I was doing really well with the schedule for a while. But then my sleep hours and wake hours got all jumbled up and I have yet to recover.

Also, on a deeply personal note, I've been working with my doctor and taking some different medicines. The mister and I are about ready to start a family and of course, because it's me, it is not going to be easy. So the doc is trying to get all my hormonal ducks in a row so that Ensign Kirk can come on board. (Too Trekkie/nerdy? Ok, so I mean Baby Kirk.)

We aren't really overly worried about this whole process. I'm just concerned it might take a while. And then if we can't have said baby then we will look into adoption. Which I am also totally fine with and in fact, it has always been on the table for me. I'd like to adopt one day whether or not I give birth to a child or children myself or not. 

Even then, if that doesn't work out, then I feel certain hubs and I can live a completely full life without children. But we at least want to give it a try so here we are. Our only real concern in all this is that it can take TIME. And while we are still young now, neither of us want wait til we are OLD to become parents. So really we just want to know what we are working with here. 

But back to the point, I think all these meds are doing a number on me too. So I have crazy hormones, an inability to sleep at the appropriate time, and as much I try not to, a pretty constant worry in the back of my mind about what might or might not happen. My concentration level has been limited to say the least. I'm doing good to be functional at work. At home I'm good reading or watching TV but if it requires more thought I'm out. So writing reviews has not been happening. But working on my TBR pile and catching up on the billion shows on the DVR have really been great distractions.

I've finally started feeling a little better. Not totally Alli but getting there. Here's what I've been up to...

We went to DC for a weekend to see the sites and cherry blossoms:

Hubs and I celebrated 3 years of wedded bliss on May 1. I love that man sooooo much! I have new addition on my ring finger. Since we eloped to Vegas there was no time or reason to have an engagement ring. But this year my sweetie added this beautiful chocolate diamond ring to my original wedding bad. I LOVE it!! It's different but SO ARE WE. Nothing we've ever done has been "normal" and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I've read several books:

The Sidekick Chronicles by Stacey Rourke
Sacrifice by Stacey Rourke
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale
Surviving High School by M. Doty
Every Day by David Levithan
Caught up on some television:

The Vampire Diaries--That Originals episode was AWESOME!
Grimm--Nick and Juliet--just get back together already!
Game of Thrones--Addictive!
Duck Dynasty--Makes me "Happy, Happy, Happy!"
Other internet type stuff: 

#BSMPhotoADay Challenge. I've never done one of these before and it's way fun AND this one is bookish! You can see my Instagram photos over there on the sidebar. If you are on Instagram, look me up! My user name is: mrscaptkirk51. This challenge is helping me feel connected but not overwhelmed. So yay for participation!
Pinterest: I've also been pinning the fool out of some stuff on Pinterest. If you are curious to see what caught my fleeting fancy, look for me, I'm Allison Kirk on Pinterest!
So that kind of sums it up for now. Now that I've laid it all out there, I'm really going to try to get those reviews up SOON. Like this coming week. At least some of them. 

And if you are the praying type we sure could use yours as we are going through these wait and see times. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher Guest Post

I'm so excited about today's guest post with author of The S-Word, Chelsea Pitcher! I'm not even going to try to explain this one to you. (I haven't read it yet, but I really want to!) Chelsea asked me what topic I'd like her to write about and of course I was blank. Finally, this was basically what finally came up with...

Me: I'm just interested in why you chose tackled such a major issue in THE S-WORD, especially this being your debut novel. Maybe you could discuss why this story HAD to written. (I really like stories that take on bullies. I wasn't bullied too bad but I was never Miss Popular either, if you know what I mean.)

And the following is Chelsea's response!

I started thinking about “The S-Word” when teen suicide was all over the news. Ellen DeGeneres called it an epidemic. The folks at It Gets Better were trying to convince young people to hold on a little longer, because life really does improve. I kept thinking: what can I do? Can I do anything? I didn’t work in a middle school or high school. I didn’t have kids of that age (or, let’s be honest, any age), so it would’ve been somewhat odd for me to infiltrate the PTA. But I couldn’t just do nothing. People’s lives were at stake. Good people, whose only fault was being born into a world that didn’t appreciate them, or see their awesomeness.

So I started to write. I wrote about all the ugliness in the world that baffled me, or made me angry, or broke my heart. I wrote about it as honestly as I could. I didn’t sugar coat or gloss over anything. I wanted to reflect the world back to itself, to hopefully show people, from my perspective, what was wrong and how we could change it.

I also wrote about the connections between things: how boys being beaten for wanting to kiss other boys is connected to girls being brutalized for showing any hint of sexuality. How abuse in school is connected to abuse at home. I wrote about how it’s all part of a spectrum of violence, of a society that divides people into categories of “valuable” and “useless” and punishes those who don’t measure up. And once I started seeing the connections, I couldn’t stop. One connection bled into another, until I had this giant, unbroken tapestry of cause and effect, of bullying begetting more bullying. 

I called it “The S-Word.” I wrote the first draft in a month. And while I didn’t specifically say, “Here is the connection between this and that,” I attempted to show how all of this bullying and violence and divisiveness is experienced by teens on a daily basis. I created Lizzie, who’s tormented by her entire class after she’s caught in bed with the wrong boy. I created Jesse, whose refusal to conform to traditional gender roles makes people think they have the right to attack him, both verbally and physically. Shelby’s dealing with racism in a school that’s ninety-percent white. Kennedy’s been labeled “easy” since seventh grade. The more I thought about it, the more problems I uncovered for this group of struggling teens; problems dealt with every day in real high schools and junior highs. Problems I encountered in my own high school days (though I believe things are worse today). It almost started to feel like too much; the problems were overwhelming. Did I really have to write about all of these things? 

But that was the point. That’s our reality. And it needed to be shown, if we’re ever going to find a solution to this culture of violence. My version of things isn’t the only one, and there are certainly issues I wasn’t able to touch upon. But if one person is moved by my story, and inspired to change their behavior, I’ve done what I set out to do. And if one person realizes she’s not alone in a world that’s trying to objectify or marginalize her; if one person realizes he’s valuable in a world that tells him he’s not worthy of being loved, I’ve done more than I could’ve hoped.

About The S-Word:

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

Release date: May 7th 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Purchase: Amazon

About the Author: 

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.

Official links: | @Chelsea_Pitcher

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No Attachment Release Day

Happy Book Birthday to NO ATTACHMENTS by Tiffany King!! 

Ashton Garrison walked away from a privileged life in order to hide from the one thing she's not willing to face. She knows she left behind a trail of pain, but in the long run, her betrayal will hurt less than the truth. She now has one goal: Live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. She has high hopes that a move to new surroundings will provide the escape she desires, but what Ashton doesn't count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan. Sometimes, when love comes knocking, the pull is too strong not to answer. Suddenly, what she thought she wanted to escape from is what Ashton now wants more than anything.

Nathan Lockton has one mission: find his target and complete the task he was hired to do—no attachments and no emotion necessary. He's done it over and over again. What he thought was a typical lost-and-found job has turned into a life examining moment as Nathan is forced to deal with something he has always ignored--his feelings. Now faced with a decision, Nathan must choose to either follow his heart or complete the job.

Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?

Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.


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