ALL THE TORCH ROCK TEASERS IN ONE PLACE

I know I surprised all of you with the news of a NEW book series, but, as a show of good faith that Torch Rock is still happening this year, I’ve compiled all the teasers I can find and posted them below. Maybe I’m biased, but 75% of these are from Rowan’s POV. (No I will not point out which ones!)

Because you’re all loyal blog followers and I heart you, I’ve also included a sneaky-sneak exclusive teaser and a photo, which is an obscure reference to Torch Rock. Obscure? Hmm…

Enjoy! And don’t forget to leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!

“I can’t lie to you, Callie, and act like I haven’t thought about it. I think about it all the damn time.”

She loved this city, but rebuilding it to its former glory felt out of reach, like climbing the stars to capture the moon.

“Your guards won’t save you. I’ll do it just like you did—inch by agonizing inch until there’s nothing left to cut away, until you beg me to die.”

“What if they’re dead?” Ash asked.

His wings blocked out the sun, their usual inky depths stained brilliant blue, the tips alight with flames.

“You’re not afraid of me,” he said, voice full of wonder. “Arol’s children are so uniquely idiotic.”

“We don’t have to map the future with our scars.”

Rowan rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. “I kept the scars because they remind me of my foster mother. The guilt is—” he shook his head. “It’s an infection. I’ve carried it inside of me for years thinking the only way I can be a good person is if I remember all the wrong I’ve done. And then you came along.” He looked up, giving her a half-smile.
“It’s not your fault,” she said, heart aching for the boy he’d been, for the broken man he became.
“You forgive me so easily I’ve started to think I could forgive myself, too.”

He’d never touched her like this, so unthinking and natural, as if she actually enjoyed it. Something warm unfurled in his chest. When he reached the base of her spine, he wound his arms around her until her back pressed against his front, and lifted the sword into her hands. “Find me, then.”

 

WANT AN ARC OF STEPPING STONES?

If you haven’t heard by now, I have a NEW book coming out August 25! Stepping Stones, a YA Urban Fantasy, is a story of loss, endurance, hope, and of course, love, and it needs early reviews! (Goodreads Here!)

Onnaleigh Moore is part of a plan—and it isn’t hers. When her brother dies in a car accident, Onna is desperate to preserve the tatters of her family. Any hope of finding normalcy vanishes when her mother runs off and her dad turns to booze to numb his pain. Onna’s grief is crippling, but the boy who showed up just when she needed him is helping her cope.

Everett’s presence is comforting, though he knows things—Onna’s name just before they met, where she lives, and sometimes he comments on thoughts she doesn’t say aloud. She pegs him for a stalker, or maybe psychic, but the truth is deadlier than she imagines. As their feelings for one another deepen, Everett confesses a horrifying secret: Onna’s brother is only the beginning of the plan, and some fates are worse than death.

If you’re a book blogger and want to get your hands on a copy, please fill up the form below and I’ll be in contact if you’re chosen. ARCs will be available in early July and reviews should post before the last week in August. I look forward to sharing Onna and Everett with you!

STEPPING STONES (NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!)

For those of you who pay attention (or creepily stalk me, because let’s be real), you might’ve noticed some super secretive things going on today. As in: I announced a new book on Goodreads!

Stepping Stones, the first book in The Stone Series, will release August 25, 2015.

Onnaleigh Moore is part of a plan—and it isn’t hers. When her brother dies in a car accident, Onna is desperate to preserve the tatters of her family. Any hope of finding normalcy vanishes when her mother runs off and her dad turns to booze to numb his pain. Onna’s grief is crippling, but the boy who showed up just when she needed him is helping her cope.

Everett’s presence is comforting, though he knows things—Onna’s name just before they met, where she lives, and sometimes he comments on thoughts she doesn’t say aloud. She pegs him for a stalker, or maybe psychic, but the truth is deadlier than she imagines. As their feelings for one another deepen, Everett confesses a horrifying secret: Onna’s brother is only the beginning of the plan, and some fates are worse than death.

I’m so excited to share this story with you. I’ve been in contact with my designer and we’re planning an amazing set of covers for the trilogy.

I love everything about this book and hope you will too. Everett and Onna are old friends to me, a story I know by heart, one that begs to be told. August can’t get here soon enough!

To stay updated, make sure you sign up for my newsletter HERE. And don’t forget to add Stepping Stones to your to-read pile on Goodreads!

All the best,

Kacey

(Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Torch Rock releasing this year? Yes. That is the plan. Torch Rock will (hopefully) be ready for publication in December, just in time for Christmas.)

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MAKING IT BIG

It’s not news how much I want an agent. I’ve wanted one for years, but maybe it’s only lately that I’ve begun to think my writing will actually snag me one. My friends accuse me (lovingly) of romanticizing the idea of having an agent. They’re not magical creatures who will suddenly make me rich and famous. I realize that. I don’t even think I want one for the sake of being “rich and famous.” Sure, that’d be nice, maybe, but my goals in having an agent have a lot less to do with fame and a lot more to do with personal growth.

I’m a member of a couple of writing groups. I get a lot of feedback, a lot of it complimentary. Does that go to my head? Not really. I’m a writer, so I suffer from crippling self-doubt on a daily basis. It’s awesome that people like my work, it makes me feel good, but feeling good isn’t getting me an agent. Feeling good isn’t making me a better, more rounded writer.

My intense desire to be repped stems from my own personal drive. I’m an over-achiever, eager-beaver, always-have-too-much-on-my-plate kind of girl. Sure, I’m a good writer. People tell me all the time I can string two sentences together, but I’m not a great writer, and I want to be GREAT. I want someone to tear into my writing and comment on things like plot and character arcs and theme. I want someone to get down and dirty about word choice and blocking and structure…and…oh gosh. It’s like a writer’s dream to talk long and low about words, like two friends whispering in the dark. I want these things so badly. Because I want to be great. Because I can’t settle for good.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t you just get an editor? These words and phrases you’re talking about sounds like editor business. You are correct. It IS about having an editor, too. But do I have $800-$2,000 laying around to pay someone to edit EVERY manuscript I’ve written? Sadly, the answer is no. I can’t afford to pay someone to get down and dirty with my work, no matter how much I want it. Wishes don’t pay the bills.

So my logical course of action in all this is to get an agent. And I’m trying SO HARD to make it work. I’m eyebrows-deep in manuscripts and edits and rewrites. I know that I’m working towards a goal, yet most days it feels like I’m spinning my wheels and watching everyone else pass me at light-speed. It makes me wish I were younger, or that I lived in California or New York, or that I was rich kid with a trust fund to support my writing habit.

I want an agent NOT because I hate being an indie writer. Indie writing is fun. I’ve gotten quite the following this way, and I love each and every one of you for having faith in me and my work. I want an agent so that I can learn how to be a better writer, so that I can plot a course for my future work, so I can have someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who will champion my work as much as I do.

I need a partner in crime, someone invested, someone who will love my characters and give me the harsh criticism. I want to put in the hard work, the hours, the pain and frustration.

Because I want to be great. I want to learn. I want to progress. I want to be the very best writer I can. And really? What’s so wrong with that?

So…You Write YA?

Originally posted on All The Way YA:

SO…YOU WRITE YA?

Labels. Oh, glorious labels. Good or bad, we’re addicted to them like our favorite candy or never-ending Netflix marathons. You simply cannot exist if you don’t wear a label. In YA, that label is Ohhh…you write about TEENAGERS? Young adult? Isn’t that for kids? Why don’t you write about someone your own age?

The YA label comes with judgy eyes, snide comments, and a truckload of condescension. Every single author I meet who doesn’t write YA asks me why I do. They can’t understand the allure of writing about children. Here, I will try to answer some of the common questions I face and give you some ammo for the next time you’re cornered.

Why can’t you just make your characters adults?

Attachments. When I have Ashley ride off on the back of some hot guy’s motorcycle, I don’t want her to be thinking about her ex-husband…

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Eating Peaches and Riding Unicorns

Originally posted on All The Way YA:

So if you read my first post last week, you know that I’m interested in talking about the guts and the glory of being a writer of YA fiction. Hell, being a writer PERIOD!

I am here this week to talk about the guts…the pain…the struggle. The depression.

Feeling dark about my work is nothing new, but last year my struggle got significantly darker.

It wasn’t one thing, like a particular rejection letter or words of criticism from a critique partner or editor; rather, it was an accumulation of not experiences but feelings I’ve been having about myself as a writer and as a person. Feelings that were triggered by benign events. Friends getting book deals. A rejection of my most recent submission by a favorite publisher. Feedback from my agent. A negative review of one of my newly published short stories. These are normal events in the life of…

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WRITING AN UNCONVENTIONAL RELATIONSHIP

Milestones are important to relationships. Most of us are familiar with the stepping stones in a conventional relationship. The first look, first kiss, the increasing sexual tension that usually leads to a sexual encounter. As readers, we enjoy experiencing these things over and over again through characters we love. Young Adult is FULL of conventional relationships. To quote Caroline from The Vampire Diaries (TV version), “Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Sex.”

But what about an unconventional relationship? What about relationships where there is a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in one or both partners? Things may not unfold so smoothly. As a writer, I think it’s important that these relationships get just as much attention as their “normal” counterparts. Just because they don’t fall into a perfect mold doesn’t make them any less beautiful.

Case in point: Callie from my Reflection Pond series.

Early on, I knew that Callie would struggle with relationships, not only because she has a rocky past with the foster system, but also because she doesn’t know how to trust people. “Normal” is something she sees other people do. Something she attempts, and fails, to imitate. Think back to your younger days. How many times did you give into pressure and do something you didn’t want to do? And how many times did you regret it?

In the initial scene in Reflection Pond (Listen HERE), Callie stands up for herself by walking away from her boyfriend’s grabby hands. This can be interpreted in many ways depending on a reader’s experience and opinions (And I hope it is!). To me, this is Callie standing up for herself in the only way she knows how, by running away from things she can’t handle. This is a relationship milestone for her—only the first of many she’ll encounter as the story progresses.

But things are never going to be “normal” for Callie, no matter how many attempts she makes. She can kiss a boy and hate it. She can kiss a boy and maybe like it. That’s the beauty of attempting things. Callie is too inexperienced to know her own limitations, so she often finds herself emulating what she thinks others want her to do. She is a work in progress, as all characters should be. If she started out strong and perfect, it wouldn’t be a very exciting or rewarding journey.

Callie is a broken girl. Even so, broken things can be beautiful. As a writer, it’s so important for me to give her the room she needs to breathe and grow, and that may come at a pace that’s frustrating, for me, for readers, and for the other characters in the book. In the end, I’m going to make decisions based on what’s best and true for Callie as a character. She isn’t always going to make the right decision, or even the one that will make me (the writer) or you (the reader) happy. She’s frustrating. I’ll give her that, and she’s going to make mistakes.

What I hope in the deepest part of my writer heart is that readers take away the absolute uniqueness of Callie’s relationships, and realize that while they’re unconventional, they are still beautiful and exactly as they should be. They may not be what I (as a person) or you (as a person) would do, because not all of us have traveled the road Callie’s on, but I refuse to force Callie into a situation that she isn’t comfortable with for the sake of being labeled as traditional “romance”. That wouldn’t be fair to her as a character, and it certainly wouldn’t be fair to all of the women who’ve suffered emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, who are expected to do things they simply can’t. Despite popular belief, a man isn’t going to “erase your past” or “heal your scars” by having sex with you. Sorry Hollywood and sorry men.

You can like or not like Callie. I get a lot of in between opinions on her character. A reader has every right to make any judgment they want. But Callie will always hold a special place in my heart because her journey is so important to me and I want to do her (and the millions of women and girls like her) justice. She’s been the subject of many conversations with my critique group, both positive and negative. It’s not my job to make sure everyone likes a character—it’s my job to offer an experience that may differ from your own, and I’m so proud of Callie’s story. I think it makes people uncomfortable when I talk about things like abuse. They can’t relate to or understand Callie’s experience, so they hate her instead. And that’s totally okay. If writing doesn’t make us feel (something, anything), then what good is it?

I’ll end by saying that Callie’s relationships will continue to be unconventional, but I hope beyond hope that you’ll still find beauty and love in them, because everyone deserves to be loved for who they are. Even if they’re fucked up. Even if they’re abused. Even if they’ll never fall into any sort of “normal” category. Even if they can’t be categorized. Flaws are what make us special, and if I can help even one person see that, then this has all been worth it.

All the best,

Kacey