Hey everyone! I know I've been away for a while but I haven't stopped my author duties. I've been editing and rewriting my books all summer long. Turn It Off went through it's first round of editing, A Tragic Heart has been re-edited and even rewritten (no major changes just details to make it more complete with more explanation), and What Could've Been is almost through with it's first round as well.
I sent off Turn It Off to my publishing company, Line by Lion and I plan to have it released by the end of fall. The cover is already done and now I'm waiting for it to be edited professionally along with all the other steps it take to release a book.
Well, remember when I said I wanted to head on a blog tour and have a giveaway for the teaser to Turn It Off? I still want those things and in fact, one of them is actually about to happen within the next few hours. I've set up a giveaway for Turn It Off via Amazon and every lucky 13th entrant will receive a free copy of the teaser to the novel coming out this fall! I will post the link when it goes live and keep you all updated. Please remember to leave a review on Amazon if you are a winner. Here's the link to the teaser and the official cover is available below for your viewing: http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Off-Intro-Chapter-Tragic/dp/1508591970/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Finally a new short story! It's been weeks since I've written one of these so I think you guys more than deserve it. This short story introduces a new character to the REDTragedies series. She actually has a chapter named after her in Turn It Off (coming this Fall!) and is known for being one of Peyton's many girlfriends. Her name is also mentioned in A Tragic Heart when Peyton gives Taylor his "list".
Anyway, you'll learn while reading Turn It Off that Sophia and Peyton had a very complicated relationship. She introduced him to new drugs and a new lifestyle and in the book he compares her to tooth decay. This short story shows that Sophia isn't all bad and that she had a troubled past herself. Peyton mentions in Turn It Off that Sophia confessed to him that she was molested by her stepdad (which is probably what got her into her troubled lifestyle) while he told her that his stepdad used to abuse him physically.
did it again. It’s not the second, third, or fourth time he’s put me through
this pain. I try to like it but there’s nothing desirable about this. I keep
trying to get into it so I won’t have to admit to myself that my own stepfather
is taking advantage of me.
mother’s too blind and in love to notice it. He gives us everything we could
ever want. His business is doing better than ever which means that my mother
isn’t going anywhere. This is her fourth marriage and the worst…at least for
day I wish my biological father was around but my mother ran him off long ago.
He moved to Florida and started a new family. We keep in touch but my mother
doesn’t like it when I say things like I want to live with him or suggest going
for the entire summer. I’d do anything just to get out of this place.
rushed to the bathroom and started the shower. I had to take the dirt off of
me. I scrub until I bleed sometimes. It’s like I can never get clean. I take my
washcloth and rub my skin over and over as the tears fall from my eyes. I feel
sick; but this is nothing new.
picture him kissing me, placing his hand over my mouth so I won’t make any
noise, telling me how great it all feels. As the last thought rushed through my
mind I ball my fists and bang them on the wall of the shower. I let out a sharp
painful scream followed by more tears. The pain from my hands was minimal
compared to the pain inside of me.
a knock on the door. I ignore it. I don’t want anyone to exist right now. I
just need myself to be the only one on earth.
sweetheart are you okay?” I can hear my mother say from the other side of the
door. Her voice sounded worried. I only wished she was more concerned with what
her current husband was doing to her fourteen year old daughter. “Sophia,
answer me or else I’m coming in!”
fine mom. I just hit my hand. I’m okay,” I answered with a trembling voice.
you don’t sound like you’re okay. Let me in so I can take a look at your hand,”
quickly clear my throat to speak again. “No, no, it’s okay. I swear!” I
insisted. The last thing I wanted was for her to see me like this…completely
just be careful,” she replies before walking away.
a few more minutes I turn off the water. I grab my towel and step out. The
bathroom mirror is foggy and I think about how I wish it could stay that way. I
never want to look at myself after one of me and my stepdad’s sessions. I
slowly open the bathroom door. It’s like having to step out into the real world
after a two year vacation.
air outside the bathroom is much cooler and for a second I feel like I can
breathe again; that is, until my stepfather walks past me. He gives me a sly
smirk and I could feel chills shoot throughout my body. I hurry and rush into
my room making sure to lock the door behind me.
in me tells me that this is all his fault and he’s the sick one but something
else inside of me blames myself. Somehow I feel like I’m wrong in this
situation. I feel like I’m the one hurting my mother and if I tell her what’s
been going on I’ll be the one to ruin her marriage. I want to cry but I can’t.
I cried the first few times it happened but after that I had nothing left
inside of me.
stood in front of my mirror and threw my towel off. My skin was bright red from
all of the scrubbing I did in the shower. There were marks on my body from
washing yet somehow I still feel dirty. I feel like actual filth not just a
metaphor for it.
on a pair of underwear and lie across my bed in fetal position. There has to be
a better way. There has to be a way out of here. I can’t stay in this house for
another year. I can’t keep acting like everything is okay when it’s far from
it. Nothing makes any sense anymore but I know if I stay here I’ll be the
victim to a sociopath for the foreseeable future.
of me tells me that I should tell someone…anyone but I’m not ready for the
judgement that follows. I don’t want to be looked at differently. I never been
with any other guy and I don’t want to have to say out loud that I lost
everything to my stepfather. That my first lover was a man I never wanted to
even touch me. No girl wants that.
has to be somewhere I can go…someone that’ll take me in. I pick up my cell
phone that was next to me on the bed. I go to my contacts and call one of my
friends, Hannah. She’s always there for me when I need her. She answers on the
Sophia!” she says happily into the phone.
can’t ruin the mood so I try to reply the same way. We talk for a little before
I ask her what I really called for.
Hannah, do you think I could stay at your place for the weekend? My mom and
stepdad aren’t exactly getting along right now and I don’t want to get caught
in the middle of it,” I lie. “Besides, maybe they could use the alone time.”
course! Come by whenever you’re ready. You already know my mom doesn’t mind at
all. You’re like a daughter to her!” she says excitedly.
the first time all day I crack a smile…a real one. I don’t care if it’s just
for the weekend, I get to run away and not think about this place…not think
Find out more about Sophia in the RED Tragedies Series here. Sophia appears in Turn It Off.
January is here which means it's time for another character profile (this SHOULD be the second to last one since RED is slated for a Valentine's Day release). This profile is for a minor character in RED but she plays an important part in the main character, Peyton's life. She's her best friend and she's as loyal as they come. Allow me to introduce you all to Robyn West!
Full Name: Robyn Victoria West
Birth Date: July 20, 2010
Age During RED: 16-18 years old
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Weight: 125 lbs
Relatives: Marsha West (Mother), Garrett West (Father), Jeffrey West (Brother)
Relationship Status: Single/Too busy having a good time to be tied down
Interest/Hobbies: Partying, Hanging out with friends, Modeling
Positive Character Traits: Robyn is as loyal as loyal can get. She sticks by her friends and loved ones through any circumstance and never judges anyone. She's easy to talk to and would drop whatever she's doing at the drop of a dime for someone she cares about. Not only is she loyal but she's also giving.
Negative Character Traits: Sometimes she parties too hard but she's sure to grow out of it. She's young, let her have her fun!
Choice Quote From RED: "Things may not go back to the way they were immediately, but I think eventually they will. It's just going to take some time..."
That's all I have for Robyn! Although she's a very minor character I feel she still deserves a character profile. Robyn is a beautiful person inside and out and I think we all can learn a thing or two from her. Forget her partying ways; she's someone we all should strive to be more like. As a reminder, RED comes out this Valentine's Day (February 14th) and is the second part to A Tragic Heart (which by the way will have a new cover for its re-release) so I strongly urge you all to catch up. Until next time...
By the way, if Robyn was a song she'd be Right Here by Jhene Aiko!
For a while now I've been contemplating if I should change the cover to my debut novel, A Tragic Heart. While I love the original cover, there has been speculation that it may not be reaching the target audience. I've been told (by agents and publishers) that it's a great book but it may be overlooked simply because of the cover. Although we all know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" sadly most of us do exactly that. The biggest misconception is that the book is a sci-fi novel instead of a Young Adult/Coming of Age/New Adult novel. The original cover is supposed to depict the emotional turmoil of the book and the human heart shattering like glass is supposed to depict how fragile the characters are. People love it once they understand the meaning behind the cover but the issue is most people won't read it to give it that chance.
I'm going for a more traditional book cover this time around that has a similar concept but is more appealing to the target audience. Maybe once the book is out there I'll change the cover back to its original form but for now it's time for a change. I'll post the new cover once it's changed so you all can let me know your opinions. In the meantime, take a look at the original cover below and tell me what you think.
"I somehow managed to play the protagonist and the antagonist in this story"-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)
Last week I wrote about starting over after you already made those messy mistakes, dropped your ego and learned to forgive yourself and others. This week I want to talk about another major theme from RED: finding yourself.
When you focus on starting over you have to also focus on finding yourself. After being dragged through the mud and experiencing disappointment after disappointment, you have to hit the restart button. Restarting also means that things are going to have to change. In the process of us being dragged by our hair while our face scraps against the cement we become someone different. We just have to find out who this person is.
Finding yourself is critical in the process of starting over. If we don't gain a clear vision of who we are we'll just falter into another mess (and who wants that?). Not knowing who you are usually results in you falling for anything. Knowing who you are (and who you used to be) will help you stand firm in your beliefs, values, and follow the path ahead of you will little slip ups.
In RED, Peyton is on a journey to find out who she is after never getting the chance to truly know her parents. All she has is her mother's journals and writings she kept on a flash drive to refer to. Her dad never got the chance to even know she was going to exist and her mom ended it all before she could even develop a memory. Most of us get the chance to learn who we are by reflecting back on how our parents were/are. Peyton never got that chance which makes her journey both difficult and interesting. She finds herself making many of her parents' mistakes but it's harder for her to deal with them because she has no idea her parents already went through it all.
Peyton begins to find herself when she sees herself where she is. The quote above is her reflecting on her past behavior and mistakes after it all blows up in her face. This should sound familiar to most of us. We tend to find ourselves while we're attempting to start over after something blew up in our faces. It's almost like the wreck and disaster is what we needed to see clearly. While we're under water we finally make the decision to breathe. Peyton is no different.
If you're currently in a situation that seems impossible, almost like you're drowning, I dare you to breathe. Open your lungs and learn something new; how to start over and find yourself in the process. Figure out what you learned and become the person you always wanted to be. Live like you're the person you want to be and soon you won't be acting anymore. We all make mistakes, we all have to learn when to drop our egos, we have to forgive ourselves along with others, we have to start over, and we have to find ourselves all over again. While you're becoming someone new you're going to get a lot of hate and judgment thrown at you but who cares? Well...judgment...that sounds like something I could talk about next week, doesn't it?Until then, keep on looking....
In the meantime listen to a song about finding yourself:
Today is the day A Tragic Heart is on sale for only $2.99 on Kindle! You can pick up a copy of the book before the release of the second novel to the series, RED. You should hurry because the sale ends on September 28th at 12:00 am PST and will resume to its original price of $5.99.
Here's a quick synopsis of the novel and you can find the link to the novel below:
Sixteen year old high school student Taylor Caldwell has been through
the wringer of life. The love triangles, heartbreak, and stress of
being a teenager is all crashing down and it's slowly igniting a fire
that's bound to destroy her. It would take a miracle for her parents to
remember her existence and the same goes for the only guy she has eyes
for. But sometimes miracles happen...just not in the form that we want
them to. All she ever wanted was an option; a way out of her turmoil...a
reason to fight. She never thought that life would give her two.
With more options and decisions to make than ever before, Taylor is
left with her own conscience and personal journal entries to keep her on
track. Her older brother, who is also her only friend, is busy touring
with his band while Taylor is battling the confusing life of coming of
age. She finds solace in her boyfriend's closest cousin, causing
animosity to build a bridge between two boys who were once like
brothers. As if her life couldn't get any more interesting, more
chilling secrets and curve balls are thrown into the mix leaving Taylor
to make the ultimate choice...a choice that almost every teenager has
thought about at least once in their life.
If A Tragic Heart had to be described in one phrase it would be:
growing up is hard to do. You remember what it was like juggling
school, a significant other(s), and trying to find yourself before you
turned eighteen, don't you? Readers' responses prove that A Tragic Heart
is loved by many for different reasons. One of the several themes is
bound to tug on your heart's strings and take you back to a time where
things weren't so simple but realizing you made it through makes all of
the difference. Many people are blind to the struggles of teenagers and
those beginning early adulthood to the point that it is fatal. A Tragic
Heart can and will bring awareness to certain issues and give us all a
better understanding of why we should be grateful that we are still