Antithesis CoverDid you pick up a copy of Antithesis yet? There’s been tons of feedback and lots of discussion over the “mysterious” blurb. Not sure if Antithesis is for you? The blog tour just wrapped up and here’s what other people are saying:

Ces: “This book grabbed my interest at the start and kept tight hold tugging me along for a hard to put down read.”

“…it’s an emotional blast till the very end with lots of twists and turns. Tick for steamy scenes, Tick for emotional scenes, Tick for action, Tick for drama, lots of Ticks and Stars for Antithesis.”

Josie: “Gavyn is such a sassy-pants, strong but cynical girl with a major chip on her shoulder…”

“Filled with unexpected twists and turns and swoon-worthy moments, Antithesis is unlike the other “YA sci-fi romances” you will find out there.”

Ryan: “Gavyn is dorky and not very confident. She was born with only one arm which is a little hard on her sometimes. Her personality was pretty cute. Liam is sort of a cocky mess. He made me laugh sometimes and for that, he is okay with me.”

Sandra:  “Vanderkarr’s novel demonstrates a surprising layering of the intimately familiar and mundane with advanced technologies, surreal landscapes, and the clinically macabre, in a story which has left me waking from dreams wondering for a moment if maybe I really am just glimpsing other realities, just as real as this one.”

Cici: ”I really liked how Gavyn embraced herself.  She was who she was, no limits, no excuses.  I believe it really sends a strong message about what it really takes to be a true ‘hero’.  I also really appreciated how right from the start, Liam was not afraid nor intimidated by her.  I don’t recall a story that had such a strong main character like Gavyn.  Truly a first read for me.”

“If you are looking for a captivating, unique read, ANTITHESIS should definitely be on the top of your list.”

Kazhy: “It’s easy to find swoon-worthy boys in books, but swoon-worthy couples? Nuh-uh. These two were so hilarious and awkward yet still sexy and sweet together. I may have snorted and giggled a lot.Gavyn and Liam’s crazy adventure made for a fast-paced, unputdownable read.”

Megan: “…she [Gavyn] deserves to be seen for who she is, because she totally kicks ass. Even if she does puke afterwards.”

“All in all, Antithesis was a fun, philosophically challenging read for me.”

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the tour and took the time to read and review Antithesis. If you would like to pick up Antithesis, you can get it on Amazon in both paperback and digital format. Add it on Goodreads.

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email: kacey.vanderkarr (at) gmail (dot) com.

All the best,




Today was a day like any other, UNTIL *dun dun dun* MY BOOKS CAME!

I was quite calm, of course. I’d just walked in from work, still in my scrubs, so I had to change before I took pictures of THE MOMENT.

Then, the unthinkable happens. Completely unexpected, in walks my best friend Lana and our good friend Sara who’s visiting from Kansas.


Lana: I have no idea what you just said.


Lana: OH MY GOD!

And it went a little bit like this. Antithesis Books!!

And then, naturally, Sara, Lana, Holly, an I had to take the book out to celebrate.IMG_20130702_182445_410

And read at the bar…IMG_1489

And I had to SIGN MY VERY FIRST COPY for my BFF while she made this face and some unsuspecting people ate burgers in the background…

First Signing

Wow. What an awesome day.


All the best,



Good morning everyone! I’m stuck at home with the plague, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on this amazing week. It’s truly been a rush and a ton of fun.

Antithesis CoverMonday was the cover reveal for Antithesis. There aren’t words for how exciting this is, to see my book with a cover, to know that in a couple months I’ll be able to hold it in my hands. Wow. WOW. People have been so nice, too. My friends on Facebook have been working overtime promoting Antithesis, and I love them for that. It’s great to have a support group and I really appreciate everything they’ve done for me.

On Tuesday, my short story, First Shift went live on the Inkspell website. This is a FREE READ, and it’s still up, so if you want to get it CLICK HERE.  

First Shift

First Shift is the catalyst for Antithesis, and the reason Liam finds himself in Gavyn’s bedroom over two years later. It was really interesting for me to write the before, sad, too. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Wednesday and Thursday flew by in a flurry of posts and tweets and updates. I really don’t mean to annoy people on Facebook, but if I connect with one new person for every post, then it’s worth it. Writing is a thankless job, and just because the book is written doesn’t mean I get a break. Advertising could make or break Antithesis, so I want to give it every opportunity to get out there. So share it. Read it. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t really matter. Just read.

I’ve also become heavily involved with SUCKER LITERARY, which is a Lit Anthology that features emerging young adult authors. I feel really strongly about Sucker. There just isn’t a place for emerging YA. It seems like it’s either make or break, and there’s such a flooded market, that it’s hard to find solid advice. Sucker is incredible in this way, because they mentor writers. If they feel they can help you grow as a writer, they will mentor your story, regardless of whether they accept it for the anthology. Hannah Goodman, the editor and founder of Sucker, has a great vision and I’m honored to be on board. Look for an upcoming blog tour featuring the second volume of Sucker Literary. You can find Sucker on Amazon HERE. And on Goodreads HERE. 


Give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised by the combination of grit and heart that makes Sucker Literary a great read.

In the next few months, my writing group, The Flint Area Writers, will be accepting submissions for a faerie anthology. I’m REALLY excited about this. We have a fantastic set of writers to build the crux of the anthology, and we’ll be accepting general submissions from the public as well. So if you’re a writer, get writing your faerie stories! The submission period runs from August 1 – September 30, and we’d love to read your story.

Stories-from-Fairyland-Promo3There’s a lot of awesome things coming in the future and I’m so grateful to be involved in all of them. If you have the time, take a second to like my Facebook AUTHOR PAGE and add Antithesis on GOODREADS.

After all, I wouldn’t be here without the support of this great community and all the writers that have encouraged me along the way. Now – to actually do the important thing: WRITE!

All the best,



I am so excited to reveal MY cover for ANTITHESIS. This has been a long, LONG journey, and it’s still not over, but I feel so blessed to be here at all. While I have your attention, I want to thank some people that were so instrumental in the creation of ANTITHESIS. Missy – though technically you don’t “exist” anymore, I still know who you are, and I am so grateful for everything you’ve done for me. You’ve been a friend, mentor, and sounding board, and we’ve had a whole lot of fun along the way. Amanda – my sister, for reading my crap when it was still crap, and for answering when I called to tell you my book was accepted. Thanks. RLL – for your ten page emails and your adorable audios. (I know you hate that I just said adorable, but your accent really is pretty cute.) Thanks for being a curmudgeon. The ladies from my writing group, The Flint Area Writers – thank you, thank you, thank you. I have come SO far since I met you, and you guys, above all else, have taken me from there to here, from just “okay” to sometimes “fantastic”. Mart and Kelly – for everything. The Sunday dinners, the impromptu writing sessions, for letting me complain. You guys rock. The awesome team at Inkspell – Thank you. Shilpa, Melissa, all the writers, you guys are amazing. Especially Melissa, for encouraging me to submit in the first place and holding my hand when I needed it. And Jon – my husband. You are a brave, strong man for putting up with me. It has to be tough living with a writer. I give you props and love and more love. Thanks for believing in me, especially those times when I don’t believe in myself.

Now for the reveal!

Antithesis CoverANTITHESIS by Kacey Vanderkarr

Available July 21, 2013 from Inkspell Publishing

My name is Gavyn.

Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me.

My name is Gavyn.

I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again.

My name is Gavyn.

I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

My name is Gavyn.

About the author:

100_0118Kacey Vanderkarr is a young adult author. She dabbles in fantasy, romance, and sci-fi, complete with faeries, alternate realities, and the occasional plasma gun. She’s known to be annoyingly optimistic and listen to music at the highest decibel. When she’s not writing, she coaches winterguard and works as a sonographer. Kacey lives in Michigan, with her husband, son, crazy cats, and two bearded dragons.

Twitter: @kacimari




The cover reveal of Antithesis is just 4 days away! I know I promised you the following interview on Monday, but I had an encounter with muscle relaxers that left me in a zombie state. Today, however, is another story! Following you will find an interview with Liam Jamison just before his fated meeting with Gavyn.

Also – I have a free short story featuring Liam that will be available on Tuesday, May 21st on the Inkspell website. CLICK HERE for the link and bookmark the page. There’s 14 other short stories by other fabulous authors as well. Did I mention that they’re FREE?

Here’s Liam:

What is your most prized possession? My boots. I travel a lot, and it’s hard to keep anything that’s really mine, but my boots go everywhere with me.

What do you do to relax? Relax? I haven’t done that in a long time. I guess I like to read, or I used to, when I still had books.

What qualities do you look for in a significant other? Honesty and courage. I want someone who will do the right things for right reasons, and not be afraid of that decision. Also, it helps if they’re hot.

What person living or dead do you admire? Nikola Tesla. He was one crazy dude, but unbelievably smart. Did you know he believed his eyes changed from brown to gray because he used his brain so much? Have you seen my blue eyes? Yep. Check ‘em out. He also had OCD, but at the time people just thought he was insane.

Imagine yourself as a five-year-old. What did you want more than anything? A chemistry set. I mean, I already worked in the lab with my dad, but I really wanted something I could take back to my room and blow shit up. Needless to say, I didn’t get one. Dad said I required a controlled environment. Whatever that means…

What is your greatest weakness? Curiosity. It killed the cat, after all.

In another life, what occupation would you have? Two words for you. Rock. Star. Have you seen my hair?

You have seventeen dollars and a full tank of gas. Where do you go? Easy. The planetarium.

What is your motto? There is always another option. You know, when the door is locked, try the window. Not that anyone locks their doors. It’s amazing how trustworthy people are.

You have one wish, what is it? I wish I could find my home. And I don’t mean where I came from, I mean where I belong. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have family, someone to eat dinner with, someone to wake up to. Unfortunately, this home is far away in the future. I have a few loose ends to tie up first.

Only 67 days until the release of Antithesis! It’s so close I can taste the hot pink frosting!

All the best,



In honor of the upcoming May 20th cover release of Antithesis (published by INKSPELL), I’m interviewing my main characters, Gavyn and Liam. This week we have Gavyn, heroine of Antithesis. We caught up with Gavyn just before she met Liam and was swept away by his charm and, uh, well-tailored pants.


What is your most treasured possession? My car. It’s ugly and has a Metallica sticker on the bumper (so NOT my sticker), but the car is mine and it’s not a stick shift. Thanks, Mom.


What is your most marked characteristic? Probably my soullessness. If you make it past that, then my one-armedness.


What is it that you most dislike? Being underestimated. I have one arm. That’s not a disability.


Where would you like to live? Somewhere warm and sunny where it never snows. I mean, who actually likes snow? It’s cold and wet and causes car accidents. Plus, me trying to shovel snow is a JOKE.


What is your favorite memory? Probably the day I met Lena. It was on the first day of kindergarten and we were on the playground. She pointed to my arm and said, “Where’d your arm go?” I shrugged and she shrugged. Then she said, “Watch me do this flip!” We’ve been inseparable ever since.


Which talent would you most like to have? Okay, so it’s not so much a talent as a necessity, but I’d really love to be able to put my hair into a ponytail. It’s kind of this obnoxious, frizzy disaster, and it’s impossible to tame one-handed.


What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty. People are people, we make mistakes, and not everyone is going to like everyone all the time. But my friends are amazing. No matter how many times I embarrass them in public, they keep coming back for more.


Who are your heroes in real life? My mom. She works her ass off (can I say ass on here?). When she’s not taking care of me, she’s a nurse. She works more than anyone I know and never complains about it. Ever.


What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience. I mean, seriously, there is no other virtue that’s so ridiculous. Good things come to those who wait? I call bullshit. Good things come to those who act, not wait around like idiots. It’s like all those princesses waiting for the prince to come save them. Pure idiocy, people. They need to take karate or something, beat their way out of the palaces, and make a name for themselves.


How would you like to die? How would I like to die? Is this a trick question? Nobody wants to die. I guess if I got to choose, it’d have to be for something worthwhile, like saving the world.


What is your motto? Get rich or die trying. Haha, just kidding. Probably make the most out of every day and never give up.


Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Gah. Seriously.


On what occasions do you lie? I’m pretty much an open book, unless you ask about my stump. I might be a bit more cavalier about it than I actually am. I mean, I’m missing an arm, nobody’s going to see that as an advantage, no matter how many times I try to convince you it’s awesome.


Where are you on Saturday nights? With Lena and Drake, watching them play Call of Duty. Sometimes they try to make me play, but I can’t control the joystick, so I just stand around and they use me as a human shield, so I get shot a lot.


What do you find sexy? Intelligence. Bad boys. Guys who wear clothes that actually fit. It’s a unique, hard to come by combination.


Do you have a boyfriend? Ha! You’re kidding, right?


Describe yourself in three words. Ohh. This is a hard one. Let me think. Energetic. Compassionate. Hopeful.


Where do you see yourself in five years? College, definitely. I really want to be a child psychologist. There are so many kids out there that have been tormented by their parents and peers. I’d like to help them.


What is your favorite movie? Titanic. I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for a tragic love story and Leonardo DiCaprio is HOT.


Look for the interview with Liam next Monday! Do you have more questions for Gavyn? Leave them below and she’ll try to answer them.

Want more info on Antithesis? CLICK HERE!

Antithesis will be available from Inkspell Publishing, July 21, 2013.

All the best,



Today I’m looking into great one-liners, and no, I don’t mean pick-up lines, I mean the first sentence of your manuscript. What if your manuscript was judged solely on your first line? (Ack! Scary, right?) Would you make the grade? What works? What doesn’t? I’m sure there’s tons of great advice out there on how to compose a great first sentence. Much like the opening line of your query letter, it needs to be eye-catching and showcase your style. So as research, I hauled a whole bunch of YA books off my shelf for some good old investigation. Later, (after a few drinks,) I’m going to open up all of my manuscripts and give you the first lines. Then I’ll judge myself as well. And I heard somewhere that you’re your own worst critic, so we’ll see if I survive!

**I’d just like to point out that all of these books are young adult. I think that’s important.

On the top of the pile we have Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. (Fantasy)

               “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

I love this first line and not just because I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series. I think it’s very sarcastic and captures your attention right away. Why, what do you mean they’re perfectly normal? What is “perfectly normal,” after all? Well played, Ms. Rowling. Grade: A+

Tithe by Holly Black (Fantasy)

               “Kaye took another drag on her cigarette and dropped it into her mother’s beer bottle.”

The first time I read this book, I was expecting typical YA, something meek and mild that skirts around major issues that teenagers face, but that first line really says it all. Kaye is smoking, her mother is drinking. This first line shows me the grittiness that follows in Tithe. I also think it shows the absolute nonchalance to the awful lifestyle she leads with her mother. Grade: I give it an A.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (Steampunk)

               “Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway.”

This one is a bit trickier. For one, it follows the typical Steampunk verbiage in that it uses way too many words. It doesn’t really give me any sort of emotion since I don’t really know who Finn is yet, though I am curious as to why he’s chained on the transitway (not that I know what a transitway is). It’s not my favorite first line. Grade: B-

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (Sci-fi)

               “The Healer’s name was Fords Deep Waters.”

I remember reading that first line and thinking “What the hell kind of name is that? What the hell, Stephenie, where’s Edward?” But…on closer inspection, it’s a great way to show the sci-fi nature of the book. How many people do you know that go by a name like Fords Deep Waters? I’m guessing none. All in all, it’s a success in setting up the book. Grade: A

Flip by Martyn Bedford (Sci-fi/fantasy)

               “Alex couldn’t have said what woke him in that morning.”

This is a terrible first line to what is otherwise a very good book (that I really enjoyed). This gives me nothing. It doesn’t have emotion, it doesn’t hint at the general voice of the book. Nothing. Blah. Don’t do it. Grade: D (And that’s generous.)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Fantasy)

               “Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker.”

Yes! That’s what I’m talking about. Suddenly I’m having a bad day and there’s a dead guy at my locker. Wait, what? Dead guy? I’m so in. Plus Zoey talks like this the entire book, so it leads right in to her bubbly voice. Grade: A+

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Fantasy)

               “I walked into biology and my jaw fell open.”

This is a ho-hum sentence. All I can think is I don’t care!! Where Ms. Fitzpatrick finds her gusto is in the second sentence, which is, “Mysteriously adhered to the chalkboard was a Barbie doll, with Ken at her side.” My advice? Nix the first sentence, start with the second which is scandalous sounding and takes me right back to sex-ed. Grade: F (And only because she had that second, much improved sentence sitting right there and she didn’t use it!)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Sci-fi)

               “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

So it’s not the best first sentence ever, but it’s not the worst either. It shows us that the main character cares for someone, and that someone is not where they should be. It’s decidedly sad without even trying that hard. Grade: I give it a B.

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Sci-fi/fantasy)

               “There is one mirror in my house.”

This sentence is…bland. It carries a little interest in that only having one mirror is a little strange, but not enough that I’d freak out on you. Knowing that the rest of the book is freaking amazing, I won’t judge too harshly. I would’ve like a bit more. Grade: C

Tempest by Julie Cross (Sci-fi)

               “How far back should I go?” I asked Adam.

This is another one of those indecisive sentences. It could mean like whoa! Time travel! Or it could be how far back should I look into this person’s history to support my pseudo-stalker habits? It has intrigue, for sure. Grade: I give it an B+.

Now it’s time for the real fun! The following are my first sentences. I’m actually pretty worried about this…

Antithesis by umm, me. (Sci-fi)

               “Reality flickered at the edge of my vision, bright and painfully demanding.”

I have to say, it’s just okay. Because you don’t know that “reality” is punny, it doesn’t ring out as awesome. It’s well-written, but doesn’t give any insight into the story or Gavyn’s personality. Grade: Sigh. I give myself a C.

Through the Reflection Pond also by me (Fantasy)

               “I picked up my pace as I rounded the ramshackle house and exploded into the street.”

This one is okay as well. The main character is running, which makes me think she’s either running from or to someone. I also like the use of “ramshackle,” it’s tangible kind of word that gives you a nice mental picture. Grade: B-

Stepping Stones (you’re seeing a trend. I wrote this one, too.) (Fantasy Romance)

               “Dawn broke across the sky, streaking it pink and orange as Onna pushed the engine of her G6 harder than she ever had before.”

I like and dislike this sentence with equal measure. I like the description of the sky and the impression that I get that she’s running from something. It has emotion, though I’m not quite sure what that emotion is. She’s in a hurry, but is it to or from something? Apparently it’s a running theme in my first sentences. Grade: B

Untitled (This is a project that has yet to be titled or finished, but I like the first sentence.) (Fantasy Romance)

               “Whoever decided that my life should be irrevocably changed on a Monday was a cruel person.”

This sentence has all the important ingredients. It gets us inside our main character’s head. She’s not just having a bad day, she’s having a life-changing day. And even so, it shows hints of humor in her voice. Grade: A (Yay! I finally got an A!)

NaNoWriMo (This is the project I worked on for NaNo in 2011. Also untitled and unfinished and shelved. Oh, the life of a writer.) (Fantasy)

               “I stumbled and fell hard onto my bed; it accepted me with a short, angry squeak.”

I dig personifying objects, so the second half of the sentence works for me. The first part leaves me wondering why the character fell. Was she pushed? Did she pass out drunk? Is she about to get it on? (Oh yeah, I went there, and only I know the answer.) Grade: A

Whew! I survived the massacre of my own work and came out smiling. I hope you find this entry as helpful as I did. Once you’ve made it past the first sentence, there’s still an entire manuscript to address. Each sentence is as equally important as the last, so I hope you’ll ask yourself if each and every sentence is the best it could possibly be.

After all, the first sentence of a book is like the opening line of song. If it’s good, it’ll stick with the reader long after she puts the book down. Just like when you hear “Just a small town girl…” Everyone knows exactly where we’re going and how great of a journey it’ll be. (Haha, I’m so witty.) So ask yourself, what does my first line tell about my story? Does it give emotion? Does it give mood? Does it set up my story?

So what are your favorite first lines? Do you want my grade on yours? Leave me some comments.

All the best,



Well…*twiddles thumbs*

There’s not a whole lot going on around here right now. Whenever I have downtime, I find myself going to open my manuscript and then remembering Oh yeah, I finished that… Good news is I’m working on my chapter for the blogvel, BLOOM, which will post on Monday. It’s a thrilling tale about…well, just check it out for yourself. CLICK HERE for the complete table of contents. Each chapter is written by a different author, which keeps things interesting.

There’s no news on the publishing front, other than my release date was pushed back to JULY 21, 2013. I know, I know, it’s 8 months later than what I originally told you, but things happen. The upside? I’ll have 8 more months to promote myself and entice all my readers to buy ANTITHESIS when it’s available. The editing is done and I’m waiting to hear from the designer on the cover. Hopefully within the next month I should have more information.

REFLECTION POND is in a holding pattern right now, circling somewhere above my head, in manuscript land. It’s ready to be edited, but I need a few days away from it so that I can be impartial with my editing. I do need to write one more scene that may or may not involve a giant spider…I’ll get around to that eventually. I’ve started plotting for the sequel, which will be titled either POISON TREE or UNDER THE POISON TREE, in which case, REFLECTION POND will become THROUGH THE REFLECTION POND. Decisions, decisions, I’m taking suggestions. There’s also plans for a third book, which is yet untitled. It’ll come to me eventually.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about STEPPING STONES, the book that started it all for me. I needed to rewrite it, so I started, but then got distracted by REFLECTION POND. I really LOVE the characters in STEPPING STONES, but I just don’t know if I can revisit it and do it justice, unless I completely change the storyline. I think it’s the pantser in me. I already know everything that happens, so I can’t write it and keep it fresh. It all sounds old and tired to me. I don’t know how to get around it, but I really want to eventually write Chase’s story (my favorite character from that series). Maybe there’s hope, and I’ll just start with Chase. I can always work backwards, it’s been done before (not by me, of course. But if someone else can do it, so can I.). It’s bittersweet, really. I want to let it go, but then I feel like I’m letting my characters down. Us writers…we’re so weird…dedicated to our fictional beings.

So, I’ll leave you with a title poll. What’ll it be, readers?

All the best,