nepenthe

A Bookish Life Update



It's been a long time since my last life update, which is good. It means things have been so good and crazy, I haven't felt the urge to write one.

You may remember how these updates came out. They used to be my anxiety updates, but I changed it to life updates because my life is about more than my anxiety.

Still, every life update seems to come about when I either am or have been struggling with something. That said, here's the most recent life update.

While this isn't weird, it feels a little weird.

Usually, I miss my characters the same amount once I've finished their story.

And then there's Corey and Olivia from Nepenthe. It's my book that gives me all the feels. The book that makes me proud while breaking my heart because I want everyone to read this book the most out of all my books. It means so much to me.

So, so much.

You see, whenever I'm struggling with either the anxiety or depression side of things, I think about Corey and Olivia. Among the craziness, I think about this book. I think about what I wanted to accomplish with it, what readers have told me about the effect of it on them, and what this book means to me.

In a way, it's my own nepenthe.

Corey managed to crawl out of the hole when he was at his lowest. It was a slow crawl, but he made progress, little by little. He managed to see the speckles of light to push him forward, to keep trying, to hold onto to hope that things would be better one day, to know that he would one day simply be able to throw a football again.

While I love all my characters, especially those you'll be introduced to in December with Without a Doubt, I wish Corey and Olivia were real.

I miss them and think about them the most. These characters fuel me into hanging on and knowing I can survive whatever life hands me. They remind me that though we may not want seek help, doing so is highly beneficial.

If one book has my heart and soul within the pages, it's Nepenthe. When life is hard, one of the people I turn to are Corey and Olivia. (See why it feels weird?) I'll read the book and find a source of contentment from their accomplishments and their love. It always makes me feel better about whatever's going on.

So, basically, my life update is that I still struggle, but I'm still doing my best and doing well in the grand scheme of things. I guess I felt the need to share all of that about Nepenthe because I relate to Corey so much. We're both trying to keep making progress and keep pushing through the tough times because we know we can and we know it's worth the fight.

Nepenthe - Fun Fact 5


Does this picture ring any bells? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

I posted it last August on Facebook while I was on vacation at the beach.

I was in love with the word and the fact that it was on a beach house.

Which brings me to the final Nepenthe Fun Fact.

In Nepenthe, Lucy calls Corey and tells her about the name of the beach house she's staying in with Grant and his family.

The name of that beach house?

NEPENTHE.

How did I come across the word?

It was the name of a beach house across the road from the one I was staying in last August. My sister and I had looked at the word every time we sat in the rocking chairs on the porch and finally, I mentioned it.

We looked up the definition and both thought it was perfect for a beach house.


And ta-da, that's the connection to how the word gets mentioned in the book for me to tie it into the story.

Hope you've enjoyed these fun facts! I did! :)

Nepenthe - Fun Fact 4

You know how the first chapter came to be, more about the process of writing Nepenthe, about Olivia's driving, and now it's time to learn a little about how some characters got their names.

I purposely placed the fun facts about Kristalyn and Olivia's driving before this one because you'd need to know those for the story behind this one.

Kristalyn is a NASCAR fan. (I've yet to understand this, but maybe I will after she's dragged me to a race.)

Anyway, after reading about Olivia's driving skills and me realizing the girl didn't have a last name, of course, NASCAR came up in our conversations. Honestly, I owe this fun fact to Kristalyn.

The most obvious character with such a last name now that you have NASCAR on the brain is Dr. Stewart (Corey's psychiatrist). Olivia is the other character. I didn't like how most sounded with her name, but I ended up finding Bayne and liked Olivia Bayne.

And there you have it! Only one more fun facts to go!

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win ebooks from the Bracing for Love series.
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Nepenthe - Fun Fact 3

Have you ever been riding in a car where someone else was driving and you wanted to pressed your own foot to floor as if you could hit the brakes for them?

Or maybe you'd grab what some call the "oh, shit" handle because you needed something to hold on to just to feel safer?

Olivia's driving was originally a bit wild, but nothing too scary. The way I wrote it Corey's original reaction didn't really fit what I described.

I ended up tweaking it to fit his reactions and Olivia became a maniac-like driver whose passengers walked away, speaking of near-death experiences.

It became a fun trait about her, which is mentioned every so often in the book.

And, really, that's it for that fun fact. If you missed the first or second fun fact, then check them out. Be sure to enter the giveaway to win ebooks from the Bracing for Love series as well!
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Nepenthe - Fun Fact 2

Day two of fun facts! Go here to read the first one. This FF has a great little story behind it.

A year ago, Kristalyn of the blog, The Sarcastic Palmtree, followed me on Twitter. A few months later, there was a tweet about YALLFest and about wanting to go. We ended up deciding to go together.

From there, our friendship grew.

As I've said before, writing this book made me nervous. So nervous, that I wasn't going to write it.

If you read Nepenthe, then you know this book is dedicated to Kristalyn and she's got a hunk of my acknowledgments.

I asked her if she would want to critique the chapters as I wrote them. She said yes. With every chapter, I sent her an email. While she read it and constructed her own emails in return, I was writing the next chapter. We did this throughout the book, molding it to be the best it can be.

This was the first time I've done something like this and it was such a fun experience. Not only did I get back helpful feedback, but I gained a best friend.

Thanks again, Kristalyn!

Come back tomorrow for another fun fact. In the mean time, you can enter a giveaway to win ebooks from the Bracing for Love series!
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Nepenthe - Fun Fact 1

Hey, y'all! Finally, I've gotten all the Nepenthe fun facts done and ready to share. There are five in total and I'll be sharing one per day along with a little more detail about each fun fact.

So, let's get started!

I have 30 WIPs saved and I'm only currently focusing on three. Some of these are two years old. I'll start and then stop, finding another story that is actually ready to be told, or one that is way better than what I started.

Most of these will never see the light of day, but I keep them in case pieces of what has been written can work in another story.

Hence, this fun fact.

When I started writing Corey's book, I knew when along Bracing the Blue Line's timeline I wanted it to start. I first had to think what could happen, what sort of mindset he would need to be in, for his siblings to pay him a visit.

*insert light bulb flashing over my head*

I remembered the beginning of another story I started that would fit perfectly. After a little altering to better fit Corey and his story, I had the beginning of a first chapter.

There you have it! That's our first fun fact. Come back tomorrow, same time, same place, for the next one!

Check out this giveaway where you can enter to win ebooks from the Bracing for Love series!
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Nepenthe Cover, Preorder, & First Chapter!

Here it is! The cover for Nepenthe (Bracing for Love, #2)! I'm SO excited about Corey's book and I hope you are too! I'm in love with this cover. I can't wait to get my hands on a paperback and the swag I've ordered!

In case you don't remember, here's what Nepenthe will be about:
Corey Kennedy was once a star on the football team at Salem University with his two younger brothers, Jonathan and Patrick. He lived and breathed football, hoping to follow his father’s dream to make it in the NFL. His chance was stolen from him when he was injured and his future in the sport ended.

As did his long-time method of coping with depression, a battle only he knows about and one he refuses to acknowledge.
A year after moving an hour away from his siblings, Corey hits rock bottom. His life is falling apart piece by piece. He’s too lost in his mind to see a way out. Slowly, with the the help of Olivia, a pushy new neighbor, Corey begins to learn healthier ways of dealing with the problems in his life.
His ground is already shaky and unstable while he struggles to stand on his own two feet again. He must find the strength to withstand what life throws at him, or crumble and fall back into his bad, unhealthy habits, which could end the relationships Corey very much needs.

Make sure you add it to your Goodreads. You can also read the first chapter here. Nepenthe releases January 24, 2015, but it's available for preorder on Amazon, B&NiBooks, and Kobo right now!

And don't forget that if you sign up for my monthly newsletter before January 1st, then you'll be joining my lucky subscribers as they'll exclusively be able to read the second chapter and have the first chance to win an ebook! Learn more perks and sign up here.

BRACE yourselves! Time for an announcement!

Yes, I am very clever for thinking of that title. ;) As I said last Friday on Facebook, I would be making an announcement about the next solo book this week and today is the day to do it! I also said that it may or may not have to do with Bracing the Blue Line, and if my clever title is any indication, it does indeed have to do with that book.

Do you remember way back in July when I did that video where I announced details about Bracing the Blue Line? I said something about how I loved that it gives me "inner opportunities." Well, today, you're going to learn what I meant by that.

Because there are so many side characters in BtBL, some people can only want to know more about them. So, it only makes sense that they get a book too, right?

Right.

Which character is getting a book, you ask? Well, here are some hints.

To continue with the "POV theme" in BtBL, it's going to be a male.

However, there won't be 3 POVs like in BtBL. The book will be told in only his POV.

You probably thought he was a jerk, but there is way more than meets the eye with this guy than what you saw in BtBL.

My final hint comes from what I've been calling this WIP when I do talk about it, like in this Facebook post where I shared Mary's thoughts after only reading a few chapters. I call it- Secret WIP: (CK).

CK.

As in, Corey Kennedy, Lucy's brother.

That's right. He's getting a book.

If you were hoping it would be Patrick or Bo, don't fret! They may get a book as well, but no promises.

Okay, back to Corey's book, which is titled Nepenthe. Because this stems from BtBL and because I may write about the other two, I needed a series title, which is Bracing for Love.

So what is his book about? Just read this and add it to your Goodreads.

Corey Kennedy was once a star on the football team at Salem University with his two younger brothers, Jonathan and Patrick. He lived and breathed football, hoping to follow his father’s dream to make it in the NFL. His chance was stolen from him when he was injured and his future in the sport ended.


As did his long-time method of coping with depression, a battle only he knows about and one he refuses to acknowledge.


A year after moving an hour away from his siblings, Corey hits rock bottom. His life is falling apart piece by piece. He’s too lost in his mind to see a way out. Slowly, with the the help of Olivia, a pushy new neighbor, Corey begins to learn healthier ways of dealing with the problems in his life.

His ground is already shaky and unstable while he struggles to stand on his own two feet again. He must find the strength to withstand what life throws at him, or crumble and fall back into his bad, unhealthy habits, which could end the relationships Corey very much needs.


I hope you're excited about Corey's book because I am. I'm pouring my heart and soul into it and if you remember from this post, it's been a struggle writing him because of the issues he's dealing with. I'm glad I've stuck through it because Corey is a piece of work, but as I said then, this book needs to be written and I'm writing it. Can't wait to share it with you!

It'll be my first 2015 solo release with a date of January 24th. I'll have more to announce soon, I hope.   :) Until then, happy reading!