YES, YOU CAN

Let’s be honest. It’s a rarity to find someone who LOVES work. It sucks. It’s hard. We’d rather be watching reruns of Vampire Diaries and eating ice cream than working. Lately I’ve been struck by how much people expect when they’re willing to give SO LITTLE, be it time, effort, money, thought.

Say it with me: Life does not owe me a hand out simply because I’m alive.

Welcome to my pep talk. It’s as much for you as it is for me, and it’s not going to be pretty.

I hate work as much as the next person. I hate the overwhelming dread that accompanies a big project. I hate setbacks and missed deadlines and that horrible feeling in your gut that you’ll never be DONE. We’ve all been there. We all want something, be it to write a novel, lose weight, save enough money to buy a house, etc. The premise is the same. The wanting, the need for dedication, the inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s so hard to take the first step that we don’t even TRY.

It’s scary. Trust me, I know. You’re going to venture into unknown territory. You might not have a hand to hold or a rope to pull you back. What if you screw it up? OH GOD. What if you FAIL???

Let me be the first to tell you: Sitting on your butt doing NOTHING will accomplish exactly that. You’ll continue to be miserable. You’ll continue to be worthless, not only to yourself, but to those around you. I’m surrounded by people who like to complain about how little they have and then REFUSE to do anything about it. They don’t understand why others won’t just give them things. Why money and cars and opportunities won’t fall into their lap. They CRY because their lives are so hard, yet they’re the ones who have made the mistakes that led them to this point.

You have choices, people. You can choose to do nothing, or you can get up, walk out the door, and MAKE SOMETHING for YOURSELF. If there’s no door available, crawl through the window, or better yet, learn how to build a door. You are capable. You don’t need someone else to make it happen for you.

Life does not owe you a hand out simply because you’re alive.

This applies to everything. That novel isn’t going to write itself. You certainly aren’t going to improve as a writer if you don’t practice. Those words aren’t going to start out as genius. It’s hard. It takes work. Sweat. Tears. Maybe even blood. Roll up your sleeves. You are capable.

Newsflash: Unless you are exceptionally lucky or come from a wealthy family, money will not fall into your lap. It requires work. It requires TIME. EFFORT. Stop waiting for someone to give you a hand out. You are capable of doing it yourself.

Lastly, and I mean this with all respect to what you’ve been through—believe me, everyone struggles—your problems are not exceptional. Everyone you know, everyone you see on the street, in the store, at the office, is going through something you know nothing about. This journey is not meant to be easy. Life is HARD. But expecting everyone else to be miserable right alongside you is senseless.

Stop making excuses, start making change.

You are capable.

You can do it.

Yes, you can.

Roll up your sleeves, we have work to do.

STEPPING STONES: AN EXCERPT

I’m excited to share an excerpt from Stepping Stones, a YA Fantasy Romance, which is the first book in the Stones Series. I’ve worked so hard for this story – it’s the one that really started it all for me. It even has a weird cult following among my friends…basically, it has to be shared, one way or another, and I’m determined to make that happen. Onna and Everett are like family to me. I love these characters and I hope you will too! Enjoy!

 

He sat on the opposite side of the classroom, but he might as well have settled on Onna’s lap. Everett’s presence was like an elephant in the room, demanding to be noticed, appreciated, and fawned over. And fawn they did.

Slush Guy had a group of girls three deep surrounding him. Several times his laugh rose over the noise, drawing her eyes like a high powered magnet, and every time she glanced at him, he was looking right back at her.

She gritted her teeth and snagged a notebook from her bag, unable to decide what irritated her more. Slush Guy, with his too loud chuckle and gorgeous, finely muscled body, the chattering, idiot girls surrounding him, or the fact that her best friend had become a traitor by leading the group interrogation.

“You’re so tan,” Hunter purred, tracing a line on his forearm.

“I’m Italian,” Everett said.

“Mmm,” another girl said, flicking her ponytail and jockeying for a closer spot by nudging Hunter with her hip. “Does that mean you can cook?”

He flashed a grin. “I’m Italian.”

Onna thought about all the Italian things she knew, the Coliseum, tiramisu, Venice, wedding soup, that cathedral in Milan, Lamborghinis, sausage…

Everett looked up, amusement carving his features. He’d taken off his sunglasses as soon as they’d entered the building and stowed them in the front pocket of his shirt. His eyes were vivid moss green, almost too bright to be natural. He smiled and she looked away.

Damn him and his damn gorgeous eyes. Damn him, damn him, damn him. She angled her shoulder so that he couldn’t see her face.

The final bell rang and Everett’s admirers took their seats, dejected. Everett turned toward the front and procured a pen from the pocket of his khakis. Hunter slid in next to Onna, who scowled. “Welcome back, Brutus.”

“You can et tu, Brute me any day if it involves that guy.” Hunter leaned close to Onna, filling the air with cotton candy scented perfume. “Did you see his eyes? They’re freaky green. Freaky and sexy—like jolly ranchers, I could just lick them or something.”

“You have a tongue obsession,” Onna pointed out.

Hunter smirked, the teacher started class, and Onna tried to forget about Everett Gallo and his delicious, candy colored eyes.

POISON TREE: AN EXCERPT

As promised, here is an excerpt from Poison Tree, the sequel to Reflection Pond.

I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into the next chapter of Callie and Rowan’s lives.

She couldn’t cry.

Instead, she pulled the comforter tighter and climbed from the bed, bones and muscles protesting. It felt as though she’d fallen off a cliff. Every movement was punctuated with pain. It shot up from her feet into her knees, her spine to her head, fingertips to shoulders. Callie gritted her teeth and stepped into the bathroom, closing the creaking door behind her. She didn’t turn on the lights. She did punch the lock.

A tiny slice of sunlight seeped through the crack at the bottom of the door. Callie tugged the blanket from her body and used it to extinguish the light. When the bathroom was pitched in darkness, she let herself breathe.

Her clothes stank of blood. With shaking fingers, she pulled the stiff, ruined material over her head, letting it drop to the floor. Moving slowly, she followed the wall with her fingers, sliding over tile until she found the knobs for the shower. It took three tries for her to turn the water on. She would’ve sat on the edge of the tub to calm her nerves, but the thought of cold ceramic against her legs was worse than the thought of passing out.

Callie stood with her face turned into the scalding spray. She imagined the water erasing the past, removing the scars. How much more could she take before there were more scars than normal skin?

Sure, she was safe here, but for how long? They’d regain their strength and they’d move on to Fraeburdh.

And she was so tired.

When her legs grew too weak to support her, Callie sat shivering in the tub with her knees pulled to her chest, freezing water pounding her shoulders and back. It wasn’t abrasive enough to scrape away what happened. She imagined the droplets as sandpaper, scouring away the memories, giving her a fresh start. But it was only wishful thinking.

 

I’VE RETURNED

Two months (almost to the day!) have passed since the last time I blogged. I’d like to tell you that I’ve enjoyed this unplanned blog staycation by eating bons bons and purchasing stock in beachside hammocks, but the truth is, this girl has been BUSY. You can ask any of my friends, I’ve gone into temporary internet hiding, it’s true! An entire week passed where I didn’t have internet. That’s basically unheard of. So what has me all spastic?

I MOVED!

That’s right. After 5 years of commuting 3 hours to work every day, Hubby and I made the decision to move closer to my job while he transferred offices. The difference is amazing. Instead of an hour and half, I’m now looking at a cool 20 minute drive and LOTS more time with my family.

AND more time to write.

Some news has piled up during my blog staycation. I’ve had work accepted at Spark AND Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. They accepted my short piece, Distraction, which was inspired by a Taylor Swift song. I’m going to keep the details vague so I can have a longer, more detailed post at a later date. Look for a short version of Distraction in Spark Vol 7 and the extended version in the inaugural issue of Ember. (Yay!)

I’ve been hard at work with my fellow editor on Out of the Green: Tales from Fairyland. We’ve closed submissions after yet another open period and we’ve finally rounded out our anthology. For the next few months I’ll be elbows deep in editing and rewrites and getting these stories ready for publication. The cover is in the works by my good friend over at Bioblossom Creative and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’ve sent Poison Tree out to beta readers and gotten feedback from everyone. The story has been simmering while I work on other things. I hate to say it, but I might have to push back my December 2nd publication date. I don’t want to, trust me, but when you’re a writer I think the most important thing is making sure you put out the best version of your work, and that, above all else, requires TIME. I did promise an excerpt, which I will post TOMORROW. Promise. I’ll have more information regarding publication when I know. Be patient, friends, be patient.

While Poison Tree was with my betas, I was hard at work on Stepping Stones, the first novel in a series. I’m excited to share an excerpt of this, as well, which will appear on Thursday. Now that we’ve moved and things are starting to settle down (not really, I’m just saying that to make myself feel better), I’ll have more time to focus on what I really love.

I want to say thanks to everyone who has been supportive—my friends, the bloggers, my readers. Your continued contact and words of encouragement keeps me going.

All the best,
Kacey

CELEBRATE THE 4TH WITH A SALE!

It’s time to celebrate Independence Day, and what better way than to get a cheap ebook?!

In honor of the holiday, I’ve reduced the price of the Reflection Pond ebook from $2.99 to 99cents. You’ll have to move fast because this price will only last from Thursday, July 3 until Sunday, July 6th!!

While I want  you to buy my book (of course I do! Go! Buy!) I’m also looking for reviews. I’m asking nicely. Please? Please? What if I make this face?

Here’s the links -

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

After you put up your feet this weekend and read a good book, don’t forget to visit Goodreads and tell me what you think.

Reflection Pond Blurb:

Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you.

Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted.

Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowan, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.

 

REFLECTION POND BUZZ

Reflection-Pond-ebook-1-VanReflection Pond

Ebook $2.99 (Kindle, Nook, Kobo)

Paperback $9.99 (Amazon)

Reflection Pond has been out for a little over 2 months now, and I have been crazy busy with promotions and advertising and trying to get Reflection Pond where it belongs, in the hands of readers. The response has been encouragingly positive and I’m so grateful to my readers who have taken the time to write a review – good or bad, authors NEED feedback on their work. How will we ever improve if no one tells us what we’re doing right and wrong?

Yesterday I visited a local bookstore, The Book Shelf in Lapeer, Michigan. Antithesis, Reflection Pond, and Sucker Literary Volume 3 are on their shelves. I’m still amazed at how helpful people can be, even when they get very little out of it in return. It’s one thing that baffles me about the writing world, how helpful, how encouraging authors and other literary peeps can be. I can only hope that in the ever changing publishing world, with its monopolies and divisions and fights for rights, that the people involved can remain true to what’s really important – feeding readers great books, of course.

Behind the scenes, I’ve been hard at work on the sequel to Reflection Pond, Poison Tree (which you can add on Goodreads). I’m about halfway finished with the first draft. It’s starts and stops at this point. Sometimes I feel like a brilliant author, and other times, I’m just a girl hidden in the dark with her laptop. I think we all have those moments – famous, infamous, anonymous. Still, I press on, wanting so badly to bring my words to life.

The main point behind this post is to share some of the incredible reviews Reflection Pond has gotten. I’m grateful, I know I’ve said that before, but I’m also humbled. No matter how many things I create, there’s always a giddy sense of terror waiting for reviews, and when people relate to what I write, find humor, joy, any emotion really, it’s the best feeling. I’ll quit my babbling and get to the goods.

The Reviews- Click the name to read the full review.

Vanderkarr writes with power. Her narrative sucks you in, and doesn’t let you go. -Connie J Jasperson, Best in Fantasy

Kacey Vanderkarr may be a young author but has proved herself to be extremely accomplished and I hope to read all her past and future work. If the sequel -‘Poison Tree’- is half as good as this then we are in for a real treat! I would recommend this book to anyone and give it a thoroughly deserved 5/5! -Sophie David

“The romance was only a small part in the book, but it was definitely strong. I loved the chemistry between Callie and Rowan. It really came alive and I could just feel the sexual tension between the two. Their witty banter was cute and made the relationship seem more real. And Rowan wasn’t this perfect bad boy. He had his own fears and problems, his own complex past. He certainly wasn’t perfect, but neither was Callie.” -Nikki Austin

“Reflection Pond was wonderfully written with Kacey Vanderkarr detailing a very riveting world with sensational characters. Racing towards an exciting ending that opens up a brand new chapter to the story; I’m beyond excitedly looking forward to the next book to continue Callie and Rowen’s journey!”-Rachel, The Rest is Still UnWritten

“I was pulled in from the very beginning and was glued to my kindle throughout the entire book. As I got closer the end of the book I realized that I didn’t want it to end.” -Shannan Lee Williams

There are lots of reviews on Goodreads and Amazon if you want to read more. This is just a small selection.

So, thanks readers, for being so great and for taking the time to read my words and reviewing them. It means so much to me.

Later this week, as a thanks, I will post an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Poison Tree, which I hope to publish December 2, 2014. Not much longer to wait, friends!

All the best,

Kacey

 

 

 

 

NEW REVIEW / INTERVIEW / EXCERPT SITE

Book Image Large (2)I’m fresh off a blog tour for Reflection Pond. And while it went well, and all of the sites were welcoming and helpful, I’m left with the feeling that nobody cares about cookie cutter posts. So what do I do? I start a blog for readers and writers with the promise that there will not be any cookie cutter book blasts. Every post will have substance, a little behind the scenes action to tell the reader that this is the book for them. I will cater to authors, both indie and traditionally published, because after all, the fiction world is all about getting the right book in the hands of the right reader.

So I encourage you to PLEASE PLEASE follow Read My Dang Book.

Are you an author? I want to INTERVIEW YOU and post an EXCERPT from your book. I’m also accepting REVIEW requests. I want to participate in book tours and giveaways. Send me all your books!

Read my Dang Book is about authors. It’s about readers. It’s about that magical moment when you lose yourself inside another world. I hope you’ll join me on this journey!

All the best,

Kacey