Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Is Why.

This is why I write.

It's not for numbers. They're addicting, they're dangerous, and they shove you to the edge of what ifs and maybes and but shes...
It's not for ego. God, ego. The few shining moments where I think the words I've written are magic are fleeting and far between. Ego rarely has what to do with it.

Money. HA.
That's all.
Just, HA.

I think all of us at some point dream of wide-stream success
of accolades
rewards
and fans.

But why do we write in the first place?
Why do I write?
Why do I spend hours and hours, fingers flying at the keyboard, pouring my very soul onto the figurative page? Why do I reread the things I've written, over and over and over again, sometimes not recognizing myself in the words I have written? 
Do I not know myself well enough to recognize my blood splattered across the pages of a story? Do I not know myself well enough to see what I'm really trying to say when I write stories, changing names and places and situations, but leaving the feelings the same?

Do I not know myself enough to think that maybe I write to distract myself from the voices in my head that tell me I'm never going to be good enough?

Maybe I write because it's the only way for me to understand what's happening-
the only way for me to be able to understand anything that's ever happened to me.
Maybe I write because sometimes, I think I was made to breathe words and not air.
Maybe I write because there are stories that are screaming inside me, doing everything they can to claw their way out and splatter onto pages.
Maybe I write because of the years I've stifled what I've wanted to say to others
Stifled how I felt
Brushed it all off like it wasn't a big deal.
When really I was breaking, splintering, knowing that nobody was going to pick up the pieces
because I didn't let anyone see them there.

Maybe that's why showing your words to someone else
Is the most terrifying thing you can do
Even if it's someone you trust, someone you love.
It's ripping out the far corners of your soul,
the parts that sometimes you forget are there- that part.
Maybe that's why I write.
Because I don't understand myself well enough to figure it all out without writing it down first.


I write the words I love you because I need to hear them
I write love stories because they give me hope
I write happy ever afters because, God, do I want one.
I write heartbreak because I've been there,
Wondering if the pain will finally what ends up choking you
I write heartbreak because I know of all too well. 

I don't write for anybody else. There are times that I think I do- times I think I write for numbers on Amazon, for book deals and fame and all the other things we think we want but really don't know.

If a tree falls down in an empty forest, do we hear it? 
If I throw words out into the world, will anyone hear me, or will all there be is an echo of my scream for someone, anybody to hear me?
To listen to what I'm saying?
Should it even matter?

I write to keep the monster of self-doubt at bay. I turn up the music, turn off the world, and try to find the little voice inside me that thinks I can do it all.

I try to remember that my words have the power to change people. To heal people. To heal myself.

That somewhere, buried deep inside me, under the layers of self-doubt I’ve let build up, there is a four year old child who is absolutely certain with every fiber of her being that she can do anything she wants, even if she has a stupid boy haircut.

There’s a six year old girl who’s written her first book and has discovered that she can write stories by herself. That she can make up her own stories.

There’s an eight year old girl who writes about the things she wishes she had. The places she wishes she lived. She writes to escape the maliciousness of the people she thought were her friends.

There’s an eleven year old girl who writes because she’s read everything in the library. Who ignores all her teachers and writes, because she doesn’t care anymore. Because it hurts too much for her to care.

There’s a thirteen year old girl who writes because she loves to.

There’s a fifteen year old girl who stopped writing, and she’s not sure why.

There are days when I feel like I’m just an endless pit of self-doubt. That I’ll never be good enough, that my words will never be good enough.

And then I think of those girls, all shadows and ghosts of myself, and know that they would be so incredibly proud of me. Of what I’ve done. Of what I’ve written. The fact that I actually published a book is something they only dreamed of.

So I write for them.
To let them know that all those years of wanting and waiting and dreaming and hoping and crying and surviving weren’t for nothing. That the things that I thought would break me are the things that help me write. That all those people who told me I couldn’t were 
wrong.

I could.

I can.


All I have to do is keep writing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Friendly Update (WIPMarathon)

Well, hey, y'all!
It's been a while since I updated this blog- and since I'm technically doing WiPMarathon this time around, I figured now would be a good time to update you, especially now that I have things to be updated.

WHAT I'M WRITING: After a long and grueling stay in the KK Revision Cave of Doom, I've finally clawed my way out. I revised one complete MS, and part of another one, before coming to the realization that the second MS needed more time before I finished revising it. Which meant adding it to the pile of MSs that need more time before I return to them.
It's funny, how every book I write has a very different process that I go through, from the initial idea to actually writing and revising. Some are faster, and some take a bit more time. I don't think that one version or another version makes the story itself better- that time isn't necessarily a key to perfection. Not that the ones that take less time are rushed- maybe I'm just in a place in my life that I connect with it better and it's easier for me to see where the story goes.
So after a few weeks of waffling between ideas and partially started MSs, I've finally found the things I wanted to work on- and it seems to solidly be two very different MSs, both of which I am at the crazy in love stage right now. (YAY!)
So, hi, WIPMarathon people :) I now have goals for now to February that don't include revisions, and I am SO HAPPY.
(Goals for next week: a total of 21k written)

WHAT I'M READING: All the books. Alllll the books.
Okay, not all of them, but a lot of them. Most recently, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and WHY WE BROKE UP, both books I highly recommend. A few MSs for incredibly talented friends, making me once again realize how lucky I am to have friends who are magicians with words.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Okay, this is kind of embarrassing, because a lot of the songs on the playlist for one of the MSs....well, let's just say that I look like a crazed teenybopper fangirl, and it's hard to explain to people why I'm voluntarily listening to it. "It's for a book! Really!" But they don't believe me. SIGH.
(Although some of the songs I would voluntarily listen to, and have little shame about loving- One Direction's Story of My Life and BSB's Show 'Em (What You're Made Of).)

WHAT'S INSPIRING ME: My students. While teaching can be frustrating and stressful, having them routinely tell me that I know everything is lovely (I trained them well), but their creativity and belief in themselves is really magical. It's totally cliched, but I think that I learn more from them than they learn from me.

OTHER THINGS: 
-Well, it's been over a month since the release of HEART BREATHS, and I still can't believe that people are buying it. So, everyone who's bought a copy- *tackle hugs* thank you thank you thank you. And those of you who've reviewed it? On my list of Favorite People Ever. There's actually going to be a blog tour for HB, hosted by the lovely Shane at Itching For Books. If you're interested in joining, click here.
-I got on my soapbox earlier this week (you can read the whole rant here, if your heart so desires) but tl;dr? LM Augustine and I have started a Tumblr of NA books with nice guys and little to no sex. We haven't read all of them (it would be hard to have done so), but we've read blurbs and reviews and sample chapters. It's a great list if you're looking for a New Adult book that isn't all 'bad boy tattooed motorcycle rockstar sexsexsexsex'. http://niceguysinna.tumblr.com/thelist
-I may actually use my Tumblr account on occasion. Because obviously, I need something else to do when I should write :) (http://kkhendin.tumblr.com/)

So, that's what's going on around here! I'm hoping to share some news with y'all soonish, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!
xo

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HEART BREATHS is here! And, the time my brother reviewed it...

It's here it's here it's here it's heeeeeeere!!!
ASDFGHJKL;ALDKL;AKDJ;LAKDJLA!!1!!!
*breathes into paper bag*
It's like being 22, apparently- happy, sad, confused & lonely at the same time... well, more like thrilled, nervous, excited & terrified at the same time.

But hooray! Should your lovely heart so desire, you can purchase HEART BREATHS on Amazon- I'll be updating this with the other links when they're available. Just a note: HEART BREATHS is part of the Kindle Match program- so when you buy a paperback, you have the option of purchasing the ebook for 99 cents. 

HEART BREATHS is my little baby debut novel, and if you decide to buy it and read it, firstly, thank you thank you thank you, and second, I hope you like it.
As a HOORAY! for publishing a book, I'm hosting a giveaway, ending next week- I'm giving two signed paperbacks of HEART BREATHS- and yes, it's open internationally. Make sure to spread the word to have more chances to win :)


And now for Storytime With KK....
So, my brother hasn't read HEART BREATHS. It's not really his kind of book to read, anyway, him being a more Isaac Asimov Brandon Sanderson kind of dude.
But God bless him, that SNEAK (Hi, Brotherly One. I know you're reading this.) decided to review Heart Breaths on Amazon yesterday. How he knew it was even up when I hadn't said anything... I don't know. SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK.

If you ever wondered what my family is like, or if they were normal and I was just the odd one out... well. He took the review down after I saw it and laughed until I cried, and said I could post it here for your reading enjoyment.

My brother, ladies and gents: 
The review was five stars, and was entitled "Heart Breaths" will take your breath away!

When I first picked up “Heart Breaths,” my expectations were quite low. However, this proved to be one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the universe. This marvelous novel shook me to my very core. This is not merely a novel, it is a spiritual experience. “Heart Breaths” will no doubt be counted among the greatest works of art that humanity has created, along with Beethoven's 5th Symphony and the Mona Lisa. K.K. Hendin writes with perfect prose that feels as though it were being narrated by a host of celestial angels. This book is written with such skill, to the point where I would not be surprised if “K.K. Hendin” turns out to be a pseudonym for a more well-known author, such as William Shakespeare. 
This humble novel represents the apex of Western civilization. My life was changed by reading this book, and yours will be too. Reading “Heart Breaths” made me feel as though I were soaring through the air over a whole new world filled with magic and wonder. Trying to put down this book was like trying to make the sun set in the east, or like trying to slep without my blacy. This book took me to a time when love was blind and the world was a song and the song was exciting. As I turned the final page, I prayed that I was mistaken and this wonderful novel was not yet finished, but alas, there are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather. If only everyone would read this book, I believe it could be the first step towards world peace and universal love. It is rare for an author to achieve absolute perfection on their first book, but Ms. Hendin has done it. 
The skill with which this book is written almost defies imagination. The locations in this book felt so real to me that when I put down the book, I was surprised to find myself in my house and not in Eno, North Carolina. The characters were not simply the mere caricatures usually seen in this genre, rather they are fully-defined people filled with depth and humanity, to the extent that I can no longer relate to the people I know as they are all shallow and boring by comparison. I recently broke up with my long-time boyfriend, as I realized that I would much rather be in a relationship with Gabe, despite the fact that he is fictional. Since reading this book, I have been unable to read any others, as they are insignificant as dust mites compared to the glorious perfection that is “Heart Breaths.” I am in the process of learning to speak only French, as any other use of the English language feels clumsy and amateurish to me when compared to Ms. Hendin’s. 
In conclusion, reading this book was like stumbling starving through the desert for weeks and then finding a shining oasis full of fresh kale, or like dancing all night to the best song ever. This life-changing experience has caused my memories to all magically fade away into a bizarre kind of nostalgia, the kind that only comes from knowing how bad everything else is when compared to the superb flawlessness of “Heart Breaths.” No mere mortal can properly praise the glory of “Heart Breaths,” and everything that I have said about it thus far is merely a drop in the ocean compared to what deserves to be said about this masterpiece. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun, like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood, who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I read “Heart Breaths,” I have been changed for good.

Apparently he had been planning this since September. Possibly the best release day present I could have gotten. Maybe he should write my next book, considering his gift for fiction is truly magnificent.
Or maybe I should just bully him into doing NaNoWriMo himself.

A big giant hug and thank you to the wonderful, wonderful people who have kept me sane through this whole writing and publishing process (you know who you are, and you know I love you, yes?)- and to you, lovely blog reader, for putting up with my various and sundry shenanigans through this all.

Happiest of Tuesdays, darlings!
xoxox

(And the Amazon link once more for good luck: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Breaths-KK-Hendin-ebook/dp/B00GF0B8Q4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1383573200&sr=8-3&keywords=heart+breaths)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy Release Day, THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM!

14741373 Paperback, 296 pages
Expected publication: October 22nd 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN 1937053644 (ISBN13: 9781937053642)
Edition language: English
Book Blurb: A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival. At first, Elysian Fields, with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world. The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along. If they play it right, then they'll be safe. But if they play it wrong, they'll die.

 


Excerpt from Chapter One
 “Makeup is good.” Teo taps lightly on a handheld computer screen. “Hair is so-so.” He continues to scan the device, and I don’t like how he’s picking me apart like he’s Photoshopping me. Where are the other students? Or maybe it’s more than I could ever hope: it’s really just the two—three—of us, and he is finally unveiling his feelings. I never expected to fall in love with a teacher, but when I started at Khabela, the Austin math and science school, Teo was the only one who welcomed me. It took me a moment to understand why a math teacher would care that I read Tristan and Isolde, but soon we were knee-deep in conversation about all our favorite classic stories. I wish he’d tell me why he brought me here. Maybe he let my mom know, explained what we were actually doing. “Teo—?” But I fail for words, the gray walls seeming to snatch at the fear inside me. My palms break out in a sweat and it’s calculus all over again, where Teo asked me to stand in front of my class to share the index card I had made to memorize last year’s trig functions. While I hate speaking in front of groups, I did it anyway, my heart slamming against the insides of my chest the entire time. When I’d finished, Teo congratulated me, making the fear worth it. Tapping his computer screen, Teo trains his gaze on me again, softening a little. “I cannot tell you how much seeing you here pleases me.” My heart flip-flops and it’s hard to say anything. He’s happy to see me. It’s all I can do to keep myself from smiling stupidly. He takes one step toward me and I long to fill the gap. And when he speaks, his voice rings out in a baritone melody. “I hope you enjoy our little neighborhood, Miss Laurent. The women are on one side of the street, the men on the other. They each have their own houses. Seven again.” His lips perk up into one of those smiles that I love, and I’m reminded of his reverence for the number seven, how he arranges our desks in three rows of seven. Glancing at the wooden door ahead, I open my mouth to ask if he’ll show me this street, when he says, “That is right. You should desire to go through that door. Of course, the choice is yours.” He gestures behind me. “The back door is always an option.” I turn to find the back door, only to see plastic shadows, slick and dark—body bags—hanging on a rod by the door. Another one of Teo’s jokes, maybe. A metaphorical exercise. Life without love is not living. See, Miss Laurent, you might as well be dead. But Teo would never hurt me. When we kissed, he held me like a porcelain doll, treasured me. “Front door, then?” Teo asks when I manage to turn back to him, his tone light, almost happy. He wants to show me this neighborhood that revolves around the number seven. I’m not sure what to make of it, but I want him to show me. Teo and the albino grab me by the arms and force me up, but there’s no reason to be touchy-feely. Wherever he goes is where I want to be. Teo is brilliant and kind. He would never shatter me.

 
Mary GrayAbout the Author:
Mary Gray has a fascination with all things creepy. That's why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she's not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children. THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM is her first novel.

Author Links: Goodreads | Website | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook



Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM, author Mary Gray is giving away one signed copy of THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM (U.S. only) and an unsigned copy of THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM (open to all). Ends 10/23/13 (midnight).

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!!!


A NOTE FROM KK:
Hooray! It's another Reading With Me title- which means I got to have all sorts of fun promoting this one! I'm gonna be honest- it's not the kind of book that I'd usually read- I'm not really into the creepy books. But it was DEFINITELY a creepy book. Gaaaaaah. Like, probably it's not a good idea to read it alone in the dark by yourself. And you may possibly want to whack Cheyenne over the head in the beginning for being clueless. But luckily (or unluckily, as the case may be), she's quickly jolted out of her little lala land bubble, and that is where the creepiness begins. Possibly I may have yelled at this book a few times while reading... the words "OH MY GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED??" may have happened a few times :)
I happen to be a bit of a history nerd and I have a special place in my heart for tragic romances, so having that aspect of the book was absolutely fabulous, and gave it a twist that you don't tend to find in books, which is a definite win. The story itself was actually pretty thought provoking- it got me thinking about what would make a love story tragic, and the boundaries we set when it comes to people we love, and the consequences we face when people take love and protection a little too far.
NOTE: The words "older man" in the blurb really weirded me out, because I thought it meant like, a forty year old. It does not. Cheyenne is eighteen (I'm pretty sure) and Teo is twenty four. So, he's older, but not super creepy pedophile older.
The writing itself was excellent, and the writing and the plot line kept me turning pages and "Oh no she didn't"ing all the way 'til the end. If creepy dystopian fiction is your thing, and a seriously twisted yet somehow kind of sympathetic villain makes you all happy, run to your nearest bookstore and get yourself a copy. You'll be glad you did. *cheesy wink*

Friday, October 18, 2013

REVIEW: SWEET SURRENDERING By Chelsea M. Cameron

Happiest of Fridays, lovelies! I'm so excited to be one of the blog tour stops for the wonderful Chelsea M. Cameron and her latest book- actually, it's her first adult book! SWEET SURRENDERING.

First, let us take a moment to drool at the abs...um, cover. Cover.

Now, a cover like that kind of gives you expectations. Sexy expectations, yes? YES. *pats cover uncreepily* And Chelsea, because she is so excellent like that, delivers on the sexiness one hundred percent.

SUMMARY: (VIA GOODREADS)
She’s his boss. He doesn’t care. This office isn’t big enough for the two of them…

When Rory Clarke ends up hiring the guy she spent one steamy night with to be her administrative assistant, she's determined to keep things professional.

Lucas Blaine has other plans for her. He wants Rory, and it’s hard to resist his stunning blue eyes, chin dimple and the way he fills out a suit. Everywhere she looks, there he is, giving her a panty-melting smile and pulling her away for the most amazing (and satisfying) sex she’s ever had in her life.

What starts off as one sexual encounter turns into multiple trysts in and out of the office and the lines she’d tried to draw so carefully are blurring. But the closer they get, the more Rory realizes that there are things about Lucas she doesn’t know, things he’s hiding from her. She’ll have to decide if she can surrender to her feelings or get out while she still can.

THOUGHTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY:
I was lucky enough to get an eARC of the book, although that doesn't in any way reflect my view of the book. It just means I got to read it early and squee silently about Lucas before any of you did :)

So, you know how there are some books you read because you want to contemplate the existence of the universe, and there are some books you read because you need a good cry, and then there are some books you read because you just want a book equivalent to an iced latte? Sweet and frothy and fun and refreshing? Well, if I would compare SWEET SURRENDERING to a beverage (because why not), I'd go with either an iced caramel latte (with whipped cream. Obviously.) or a moscato.

It was FUN. It was sexy. It was exactly what I had been wanting to read- a romance where the main character wasn't whiny or mopey or pining after some guy the whole time, a guy who has earned himself a spot in my Fictional Book Boyfriend Harem, and just enough of a mystery to give it a little twist.

Rory, the main character, was fabulous. She grew up rich, but was not the annoying rich girl. She's a hard worker, and one of the reasons she works so hard is because of her parents, which shows you a lot about her personality. When Lucas ends up being the best bet for Rory's administrative assistant, Rory has to decide whether hiring basically the hottest guy in the universe is a good plan.

Lucas working as Rory's administrative assistant is what a lot of people wish their office jobs were like- working in a gorgeous office with a drop dead gorgeous man. They sleep together, 'to get it out of their systems' HAHAHAHAHA, and lemme just say, you can read those scenes outside during a blizzard and you'd be fine. And there are certain office supplies you will never look at the same way anymore. ;)

So, the problem with having your administrative assistant becoming your Sexcretary kind of makes things complicated, and Rory has to figure out if Lucas is nothing more than a hot guy who's a great time in bed, or if he's actually worth fighting for.

All in all, SWEET SURRENDERING was an adorable book. It was a super fun read- a little predictable (well, it's an office romance. It follows the plot of one.) but that was totally okay with me. There's a reason office romances sell- because we all at one point have probably had a coworker that we thought sexy thoughts about. Whether you end up acting on said thoughts... *shrugs* Hopefully that's your little secret :) Chelsea is a fabulous writer- the characters jump off the pages (hello, Rory & Sloane, please be my friends forever thanks), and the story flowed smoothly. It was such a pleasure to be able to dive into Rory and Lucas's world for a little bit.

Some fabulous little quotes:
"Growing up with money meant that I practically had a degree in Men Who Don't Understand The Word No." -earc, loc 36

"I swear to God, I was going to kill Royce Winkle for cheating on me so I had to break up with him, so I wasn't getting regular sex anymore. The fact that his last name was Winkle should have been my first red flag, but he was charming and rich and liked to pay for dinner when we went out." -earc, loc 113

"Listening to douches with guitars that they think can sing and and girls with too many feelings trying to pour them into crappy lyrics? I am there," I said, raising my head.' -earc, loc 169

"Fuck you evolution for making a guy who is good with children so fucking attractive. Especially right now." -earc, loc 1492
FINAL VERDICT: 
If you're a fan of slightly snarky, sexy romance? Definitely. If you're a tad more uptight and don't approve of fictional office romance? Not for you.
And OHAI SWEET SURRENDERING is on a release sale- for a mere NINETY NINE PENNIES. So go one-click this fabulousness and then use the money you saved to buy yourself a latte. A pumpkin spice one, because it's October.

BUY LINKS: 
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1anY3zp
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1gIPYeU
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sweet-surrendering
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id722387866

GIVEAWAY: 
HOORAY!! The grand prize winner will get to name a character in a future book, win a signed inspiration collage (OMG please tell me that includes some Lucas abs. *dreams*), and a red shoe charm bracelet. The 4 runners up will receive a red shoe charm bracelet. And and and the contest is international!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Author Information:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happiest of Book Birthdays, RECLAIMED!

16045763Paperback, 296 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2013 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
ISBN: 1937053881 (ISBN13: 9781937053888) Edition language: English

  Book Blurb: Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two. All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets. Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember. Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle. The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget. Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return. Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.

Buy Links:
Add RECLAIMED to your Goodreads shelf.

 About the Author
Sarah Guillory smaller Sarah Guillory is a YA author. In addition, she teaches sophomore English and loves that they pay her to fan girl over books and authors and to watch her students fall in love with the written word. Sarah lives in Louisiana with her husband and ridiculously spoiled bloodhound. RECLAIMED is her debut novel. Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter | Tumblr




Announcements
In honor of Teen Read Week, Sarah Guillory is donating several copies of RECLAIMED to school libraries. She's also having a huge giveaway that includes a $100 giftcard to the bookstore of your choosing and a 30 minute Skype chat with you or the classroom of your choosing. Stop by her blog to learn more! Also, on Friday, October 18th, at 5:00 PM EST, we will begin the 24-hour RECLAIMED read-along. This is the time for everyone to be reading, tweeting, and reacting to RECLAIMED. No Spoilers, please, just good reading fun! Sarah will also be doing a live online chat on Monday, October 21st, at 9:00 EST so tweet your spoiler-free questions using the hashtags #RECLAIMED, #RWM, and #askGuillory. To learn more about these wonderful events, stop by Sarah's blog!

A Note From KK:
OMG YOU GUYS.
As one of the members of the RWM team, I can tell you that I have been waiting for this day for SO LONG. I was so lucky to be able to read RECLAIMED early and I am in awe of Sarah's writing. I was honestly pretty hesitant to pick up the book at first- I'm really not a fan of love triangles. Pretty much ever. And then I read RECLAIMED and I can honestly say it is one of the only love triangles I not only liked, but LOVED.
That's right. I said LOVED.
I know. I almost didn't believe it myself.
The characters leaped off the page- Jenna, Ian and Luke were all so incredibly real. One of the reasons I really hate love triangles is because they don't feel real, or they just seem dumb- like, it's not an actual triangle and the girl is just stringing one of the guys along. Or I hate both the love interests, or I'm mad at the main character for being annoying. (Why are so many love triangle female characters so annoying??) None of that happened. I loved Jenna- her struggles felt real and sometimes familiar- the ache to leave the little bubble you grew up in and go and find yourself somewhere new. Luke and Ian- their relationships, with each other, and both of their relationships with Jenna were heartbreaking and beautiful. The struggle to choose wasn't overdone at all- which is why I can tell you that RECLAIMED has a love triangle I actually liked a lot.
The story was engrossing and wonderful and was nothing that I expected and everything I hoped it would be. I laughed, I cried, I screamed and squeed and almost threw the book across the room at one point. And I had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face when I got to the end. And yes, I did actually, in real life, pat my heart with happiness.
This is a debut that you do not want to miss.
And for all of Sarah's students: YOU GUYS ARE SO LUCKY SHE'S YOUR TEACHER.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful Tuesday!
xo

Thursday, October 10, 2013

FREE BOOKS.

HOORAY!!!
All the free books today- and conveniently, they're all copies of Heart Breaths!

First, a super huge congratulations to the two winners of the eARCs from the cover reveal giveaway: Faith and Dawn- I've already emailed you both.

It's a little crazy that Heart Breaths is at the formatter now- which means that come the weekend, I'm going to start sending it to people to read.

People who aren't me.

EEEEEE!!!

If you'd like an eARC (not printing any ARCs yet, if I decide to I'll update y'all) of Heart Breaths, I'd love to send one to you- all I ask for in exchange is a fair and honest review.
And if you'd like to be part of the potential Heart Breaths blog tour (running release week), please feel free to sign up in the handy dandy Google Doc below.



Thank you thank you thank you thank you :)
Can't wait to share Heart Breaths with you!
And now, back to working on the next MS.... *cackles evilly*
xo

Thursday, October 3, 2013

34 Days 'Til HEART BREATHS: The OMG It's Actually Real And Did You See My Cover??? Edition

*Bounces in*
OHAI YOU GUYS.

So, a while back, I wrote this book, and decided that the best route of publishing for it would be to self-publish. Which means that I waved my magic wand and transformed myself into a publisher, too. (tada!) All the aspects of publishing that normally would be taken care of by a publisher are done by me, or by people I hire to do it.

I was very nervous about my cover- and picky. Very, very picky. There's a trend of Two White People Almost Kissing on book covers of most New Adult novels being released, and that was pretty much the last thing I wanted on Heart Breaths. For one thing, Heart Breaths is not really such a Two White People Almost Kissing kind of book. It's really not. While the romance does play a rather significant role in the plot, it's not the only story, and I wanted the cover to reflect that.

Hafsah, the lovely and talented photoshop wizard, managed to take my semi-incoherent rumblings (and my Pinterest board) and turn it into the PERFECT cover for HEART BREATHS.
Perfect, y'all. 

I mean, JUST LOOK AT IT.


BLURB: After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she's spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she's betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.

Eno, North Carolina seems like the perfect place to hide. Working at a local café is light years from Maddie's Manhattan existence and for the first time in a while, she's finding her family. There's Grandma, the café owner; Samantha, the hairstylist next door with plans to make Maddie's life unsuck and Noie, the three year old girl who's stolen Maddie's heart.

And then there’s Gabriel Mendez, Noie’s single dad. He’s intrigued Maddie since the first time she met him, and while he has his own secrets, he wants more from her than just friendship. But the past never stays past, and all too soon, Maddie realizes she can't hide from hers. If she can't put the pieces of her shattered life together this time, she'll have no hope for a future.
A future she desperately wants.


I have been a squeeing, semi-incoherent Gollum since Hafsah sent it to me... The words "MY PRECIOUSSSSSS" have been uttered enough times that people have started to look at me funny. 
*shrugs*
That's okay with me- because hi, DID YOU SEE THAT PRETTY???

And because I love you, here is a special little teaser from HEART BREATHS. Conveniently, it also happens to be the entire first page.

It had been seven hours and fourteen minutes since I completely and utterly lost my mind. Since I shoved everything I could fit into my car, returned my keys to the landlord, and drove. All I wanted to do was drive - drive until my tires ran flat, get a new pair, and keep going. Drive until I couldn’t drive anymore, until the allure of wherever I was became stronger than the urge to bury my head in the sand and never, ever come out. Far enough away that my memories would all magically fade away into a bizarre kind of nostalgia, the kind that only comes from knowing how bad things sucked. The kind that only happens after blacking out.
 I don’t know when I realized there were beaches again. It was miles and miles of mindless driving. No GPS, no phone, and no map- I was probably heading south. It would have helped to read road signs, but when everything goes, everything goes. I pulled into a rest stop and stumbled out of the car, cramped from sitting hunched over the wheel for seven hours. It was a testament to how far gone I was at this point- I had driven over seven hours without stopping. Normally all it took was two minutes of driving before the panic attack would hit.
Welcome to Virginia Beach! A garish sign proclaimed. Well, that would explain the location bit, I thought as I walked blindly to the bathrooms.
I barely recognized myself in the mirror. Then again, it had been years since I recognized myself at all. Swiping the hair out of my face again and pulling it into a ponytail, I made a face at my reflection. If Mother knew I was walking in public with my hair looking like this, she would be so horrified her Botoxed forehead wouldn’t be enough to hide it. I don’t know which one she would find worse- showing emotion or my hair. It was a tough call. Shaking off thoughts of my mother, I trudged out of the restroom and into the main convenience store.
“Well, hi!” sang a cheery voice from behind the counter as I walked in, surveying the store. “How can I help you?”
Nobody could help me. Especially not some random cashier in a gas station store on the side of the highway. “I’m fine, thanks,” I mumbled. “Just looking.”

Author Info: KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. 
She spends way too much time on Twitter, and rambles on occasion over atwww.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

LINKS:

did you really think there would be no presents?
SILLY YOU.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THIRTY FOUR DAYS, y'all.
I am so excited and nervous and all the simultaneous feelings. I think I'll go and look at my cover some more.

*BIG SMOOSHY HUGS*

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WEDNESDAY!!

Fall, fall, fall, fall. What happened to you? You were here and you were so lovely and now... now you abandoned me for greener pastures of somewhere else. I haven't updated y'all on what's be up with me lately because, holidays. Alllll the holidays, y'all. But the holidays are over and now everything is back to normal.
Well, relatively....


What I've Been Reading: The fabulous thing about all the holidays is the time I have to read. I found my box of books that I had been missing (you can read about that here), and so I've been doing a lot of rereading recently. Just a few of the books I've read over the past while include Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory (review coming soon), Be My Downfall by Lyla Paine (review coming soon for that too), Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews (hawt and sweet), My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea Cameron (adorable), Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (SO good), The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster (not as funny as her others, but still fab), a few of the Sammy Keyes series (YAY!), UltraViolet Catastrophe by Jamie Grey (y'all know I love it), and alllll the beta and CP words.
Not to mention all the books I read at work, which are not nearly as advanced. I will say that The Cat In The Hat is very popular.

What I've Been Listening To: the lovely, lovely Vitamin String Quartet- When I'm revising, it's harder for me to listen to music with lyrics, so VSQ is a great compromise- all the pretty music and none of the sometimes distracting words.

What I've Been Writing: Well, Heart Breaths is at the copy editor (EEEE!!!), so mostly that :) I've been working on a newer MS- one that I mostly wrote earlier this year, but needs a whole bunch more words and research. The MC in that one is very different than Maddie (HB's MC), and it's a fun change up. I've been plotting, too, which involves calendars and word counts and a lot of evil cackling.

What Inspires Me: people with excellent time management skills. I am jealous, and would like to be one of them when I grow up.

What Else: Day Job is going well so far (YAY!), I've been formatting the new #MSWL posts from the last Twitter party- there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and they are incredibly fascinating and slightly dangerous because I don't need any more SNIs on my list ;)
Over at RWM, we're having a blast with the upcoming releases- I'm so excited for you to read all the new books! And to meet all the authors, who are all kinds of fabulous. Seriously. The best group of authors ever. (And the best co-interns. If one day we take over the world....well, it might happen. Maybe. Possibly.)
Oh yeah- and Heart Breaths comes out in 35 days. THIRTY. FIVE. DAYS. *dies*
But tomorrow you'll get to see the cover and y'all. It is just magnificent, and I cannot be happier with it.

Now I'm off to go do some sort of voodoo dance to try to get the weather back to the 50s and 60s where it belongs. No more of this 86 degrees nonsense.
What’s going on with you this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments below.
xoxox

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Magical Tale of KK's Hidden Box of Books

Gather 'round, childrens. We're taking a break from not posting (even though I should be) about things, like Heart Breaths updates and such, to tell you a magical fairy tale with a happy ending.
Comfortable?
Excellent.

Once upon a time, a long time ago (okay, like, four years ago), I packed up my books and moved them to the garage. I was going to live abroad for a bit, and I knew that if I would leave them out, I'd probably never see half of them again.
Two years later, I moved back, and took my boxes of books out of storage.
There was only one problem- there was actually one more box. I knew there was- it didn't make sense for there not to be. Where were all my other books?
There must be some black hole in the garage, because as many times as I attempted to look for the box, I couldn't find it. Pausing the search usually was a result of an injury of some sort (not only is the garage equipped with a black hole, but apparently it's also equipped with enough booby traps to put me off looking forever).
But with all the holidays this month, the garage was going to be opened and things in there would actually be used. Which meant that maybe, just maybe, there was a possibility of me finally finding my box of books. A little over four years later.

That shriek of happiness you heard on Wednesday?
That was me. Finding me box of books.
And yes, I cut my finger on broken glass, so don't worry- there was still an injury. Maybe the garage doesn't actually have a black hole (doubtful), but it does have booby traps.
The grand total of books that were in the last box is 62 books and one review book (hello, US History & Government Regents Review book. I don't really need you anymore).

The past few holiday days featured me skipping happily around the house singing about finding my books again, and reading said books. I don't think my family is quite as excited as I am about it.
OH WELL.

Want to see some of my rediscovered books?
Of course you do. They're BOOKS. (WHEEEE!!!)

CRIMES OF FASHION

By Ellen Byerrum. I also have Raiders of the Lost Corset. I had the first one (Killer Hair), but I lent it to someone and never got it back. And apparently there are another few that I have yet to read! Have I added them to my TBR list? Um, obviously.
Crimes of Fashion are adorable- the main character, Lacey Smithsonian, is a fashion reporter with a flair for vintage who keeps finding herself in the middle of some seriously sticky situations. The cast of characters are quirky and wonderful, and even though I'm not always the biggest fan of clothing descriptions, it totally works for the series.

 SHOES, SHOES, SHOES

A birthday present from a friend. Who knows me and my love of shoes quite well. (Did I have a shoe calendar at one point? Yes, and it was GLORIOUS.)






ALL THE BOOKS. Barbara Delinsky, SEP, Kristin Hannah, Dave Barry, William Shakespeare, Anne George, Nathaniel Hawthorne...
AND LADIES OF THE CLUB- Makes me so happy that I found that book again :) It was actually a book that my great-grandmother and grandmother had read and recommended to me. Seeing it sitting on my bookshelf reminds me of my great-grandmother, who passed away the summer after I graduated high school.
HARRIET THE SPY: Do I even have to tell you that I wanted to be Harriet when I was younger? And I lived in an apartment building with a bus stop right outside. Prime spying location, let me tell you.
THE MISFITS: Oh, that book. All the hearts and love for that book. For every book I read as a kid that told me it was okay if I wasn't just like everyone else. 
DON'T LOOK DOWN: (not pictured, but there) The first of the Jennifer Crusie-Bob Meyer collaborations. In the ultimate KK universe, the two of them would write a million more books, because they are all kinds of fabulous. (And yes, I do own AGNES AND THE HITMAN and WILD RIDE.)


My grandmother bought these books for me on a trip she took me to Arizona (mostly the Grand Canyon, but a bunch of other places as well). I haven't read them since I was around thirteen (when I got them), but they were a lot of fun to read then, having just visited all the places written about in the books.

Most of these books were purchased at the library book sale in my grandparent's neighborhood- God bless their library, they have an ongoing used book sale in the basement of the library, with book pricing ranging from $0.50 to $3.00 a book. It is a magical place, and I am physically incapable of walking out of there without buying at least ten books. And yes, it is an essential part of every grandparently visit.

And yes, my grandparents are definitely book buying enablers. 

So that's just a few of the books I found this past week, which gave me all the nostalgic happy book feels. 

And then KK and all her books lived happily ever after. Until she had to find a place to keep them.

The End.

Monday, September 9, 2013

BLATANT BRIBERY (or, Street Team Announcement)

Well, hello there, pretty blog reader!
*flutters eyelashes*
You're looking marvelous today.
Your hair? That outfit? WOW.
Here, have some coffee. A macaron or two. A freshly baked cookie.
Take a seat on this fluffy and comfortable couch over here.

Remember how a few weeks ago I told y'all that I was going to be publishing HEART BREATHS? (And that you can add it to your GR TBR pile HERE?) *sighs fondly* Good times, weren't they?
I write because I want to. Because I need to. Because I would be a lot less sane if I didn't. I'm publishing HEART BREATHS because part of the process of writing is sharing your words with others. And while it's a terrifying and exhilarating thought at the same time, sharing it with others means getting the word out about it's existence.

And to do that, I need some help.
You and I may not know the same people. Granted, there will be some overlap (I know you and you know me ;D), but there are all sorts of wonderful people that you know. Who read. Who like beaches and mysterious pasts and coffee and all the drama and sexy men *cough* HEART BREATHS *cough*. Who maybe possibly would like HEART BREATHS as well.

I would love to get a group of y'all together to help me spread the word about HEART BREATHS. Hide your kids. Hide your wife.
Wait...No.
Tell your kids (the older ones.) Tell your wife (or husband, or significant other, or that really cute guy you have a crush on). And that random lady you always see in the hair salon. And that cashier in your grocery store who you squee with about all your book boyfriends. And that friend you have on Facebook from high school who you never talk to anymore, but you remember she read a lot. And the librarian. And the bus driver.
You get the point :)

So, what exactly does being a member of the Heart Breaths street team mean?

ALL THE MAGICAL THINGS. Obviously.
I would totally promise all of you a unicorn, but shipping and handling for those are really kind of tricky. As is the shipping of an infinite supply of chocolate and wine and all the other lovely things. Seriously, UPS really needs to work on that.

Instead:
You get a sneak peek into pretty much everything that's going on behind the scenes with Heart Breaths- sneak peeks of the book, seeing the cover early, and oh, yes, eARCs of Heart Breaths as soon as they are ready and available. And presents. Because I like giving them.
And my undying gratitude, and pretty much a promise that if I ever meet you in real life, I will tackle hug you.

That's a motivating factor, right?
(I've been told I give the world's greatest hugs if that makes y'all feel better.)

So, what's the first step?
You fill out the lovely information right here.




 And you can go spread the word about the street team by tweeting, Facebooking, or renting a billboard. (The link for the signup sheet is right HERE).

Have I mentioned how fabulous you are?
I HAVEN'T?
*hangs head in shame*
Well, I do think you're fabulous. In case you were wondering.
Picture via

And Hot Guy and his kitty think you're fabulous, too.

Thank you all so much for everything you've done so far- I know that committing to a street team is you taking time out of your busy lives, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much helping.
xoxo

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Second Chance Summer Cover Reveal

Happy September, y'all!
Today is a two-blog-post day, and I am SO EXCITED for this first one!

Emma Hart is a darling. Seriously, she is one of my favorite writerly people, and I've known her since almost the beginning of my writing journey. Her book, Never Forget, was actually the first one I reviewed on this blog, and I'm so, so happy to have her back with a gorgeous cover reveal for her next book, SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, which is coming out September 23rd.

Can you wait? I CANNOT WAIT.
I mean, read the blurb. Just read it.

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Love Game and Playing for Keeps is a story of hope and the beauty of getting a second chance at the kind of love that comes once in a lifetime…


“You don’t get a love like ours and get to leave it behind.”

Kia James was never meant to return to her hometown of Harlan Grove, Alabama… But she has.
And Reese Pembleton was definitely not supposed to still be in love with her the way she is him… But he is.

Last summer was the summer to end all summers. It was the summer they both fell in too deep to get out, and try as she might, Kia can’t deny that whatever was there between them a year ago is still there. If she’s honest with herself, there’s so much more there than there ever was, but the way her dad walked out six years ago has shattered her belief of that fairytale love every girl craves.

Reese isn’t giving up so easily. His biggest mistake was not chasing after Kia the way he wanted to when she upped and left him without a word. Despite what she says, he knows her better than anyone, and he knows she still wants him the way he wants her. And this time, nothing will stop him from getting – and keeping – his girl.

But nothing is that easy. When Kia’s dad arrives back in town, family secrets come tumbling out she never realized existed. Everything her mom has ever told her about the reason he left is a lie – but how can she trust the man who, by his own admission, didn’t fight for her as hard as he could have?


With her past and present wants and needs colliding, Kia is thrown into the turmoil of the biggest decisions of her life. And she realizes, sometimes a second chance is all you need. 


RIGHT???
AND LOOK AT THIS COVER.
JUST LOOK AT IT. *grabs your face and turns you to the cover*


JUST LOOK AT THAT PRETTINESS.

And because Emma is a lovely tease, I have an excerpt, too!
I know- your Sunday just got so much better.

Reese puts his arms out at the end of the truck. “Come on.”
“I can climb down from a truck.”
“I know that,” he replies and shakes his arms once. “But I’m just helping you. You know, being friendly.”
I raise my eyebrows, letting him grip my waist anyway. I put my hands on his shoulders, and he lifts me down, lowering me slowly to the ground. His eyes are on mine, watching me intently, and a small smile plays on his lips. I lick my bottom lip without thinking, and his eyes flicker down. I swallow against the thumping of my heart and force my breath out slowly, resisting the urge to let my body take control.
Reese’s hazel eyes are darker as they meet mine again, and I let my hands slide slowly down his chest. His fingers flex against my waist, like he’s fighting with himself whether to let me go or not.
I breathe a little faster against my will and I see his chest heave once. My fingers graze his stomach and I step back, loosening his hold on me. His hands brush my hips as he drops them from my waist, and I have to stop myself from wrapping my arms around my waist to make up for the loss of him.
“There’s nothin’ friendly about that, baby,” he says in a low voice. “Nothin’ at all.”
I let out a shaky breath. “We’re never gonna be able to be friends, are we?” I whisper sadly. “We’ll never be able to get past whatever it is between us, will we?”
He shakes his head. “I don’t wanna get past it, Kia. Not at all.”
“I can’t have everything. I can’t. It’s always gonna be all or nothing for us, Reese. There’s no in between, there never will be.”
“I’m not asking you fall back into my arms and let me sweep you off your feet,” he whispers, moving some hair from my face gently. “No matter how much I want to, I’m not asking that. I’m just askin’ you to let whatever will happen, happen. I don’t get what good it is with you fightin’ yourself every time.”
“What’s meant to be will be, right?” I shake my head a little in disbelief. “It doesn’t-”
“Work like that?” He raises his eyebrows, his thumb trailing down my cheek and neck. “How do you know if you keep fighting it?”

I KNOW.
Here's the Goodreads link so you can add it to your TBR pile ASAP. Go. I'll wait here.

And a quick note from the author, because she is a doll:
SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is book 1 of the Chance series, and there is NO cliffhanger. There are loose ends that need tying up in both the second book and companion novels – to be announced – but I have tried my best to resolve the main story line in this book. 

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

There's a fabulous giveaway- you can win an eARC of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. Clicky clicky HERE for a chance to win.

And as always, go say hi to Emma and tell her how beautiful her cover is. Which she MADE HERSELF. God, some people are just good at everything.



By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahartbooks.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmaHartBooks
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor