About Samantha Durante

Samantha Durante is an author of young adult science fiction romance.

Stuck Tour GRAND FINALE

Today is the GRAND FINALE of the Stuck Blog Tour – head on over to Prism Book Tours for a recap of all the awesome Stitch Trilogy content that was shared over the past couple weeks to celebrate the launch of Book 3!

In case you missed the recent posts, here are some highlights from this week!

  • On Monday,
    • Colorimetry shared a new excerpt introducing two (hot!) new characters to the series, Deion & Alex!  Head over there to meet them!!
    • And Jessica at Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile posted her review, saying, “If you haven’t started this trilogy yet, you’re in for such a treat. I envy you. I really do.”
  • On Tuesday,
    • Serenity at Lovely Reads gave Stuck 5 stars, saying the book “blew it out of the park!”  Read her full review for more!
    • Julie at Chapter Break grilled me on book boyfriends, taking tough criticism, advice for aspiring authors, and more! “What is your take on book boyfriends? Do they actually exist? Or do they set the bar for real life men impossibly high? On the contrary, I think book boyfriends challenge men to live up to their potential, and encourage women not to settle for less than they deserve!” Read the full interview on her site!
    • And Amber at Words Are the Breath of Life called Stuck, “a phenomenal completion to a wonderfully complex, challenging, and heartfelt adventure.”  !!!  Read her full review – actually the first one I received on the book! – in her post.
  • On Wednesday,
    • Books & Such featured a super fun (and super silly) quiz: “Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?”  Are you “a genocidal maniac with a heart of gold,” a rebel with “an addiction to righteous indignation,” or something else?? Find out in Teri’s post!
  • On Thursday,
    • Sherry at Fundinmental interviewed me about all things writing and reading, including my favorite author of the moment (“Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander books.  Her character building is just so, so good; I love all of her main characters and am so invested in everything that happens to them.  I just can’t put those books down, and I wish they would go on forever and ever and ever.”  Don’t you agree??), and then shared how Stuck “gets my motor running into overdrive” – check out her full review for more!
  • On Friday,
    • Christy’s Cozy Corners featured a guest post about Dystopian Style: “3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit” – it starts off serious but quickly goes off the rails… head over there to see if you follow my humor or just think I’m a total weirdo!
    • Then Ashley at Oh, Hey! Books got into the nitty-gritty of the writing process with me (“I set of goal of finishing the first draft of Stuck before Mia was born… and then I looked up about two months before she was due to arrive and realized I’d only written two chapters!  (Out of a planned 50!!)”) – check out her full interview to see how I wrote my way out of that hole!
    • And finally, right here on my blog I shared the final guest post of tour (side note: not really a guest post if it’s on your own blog?? haha) with the Stitch Trilogy Movie/TV Dream Cast – and I’d LOVE to hear what you think of my actor picks!
  • As a reminder, the GIVEAWAY for the Blog Tour is open through December 27th!  You can enter at any of the posts above, or by going here.  Prizes include signed print copies, a limited-edition Stitch scarf, ebooks, and Amazon gift cards galore!  (Open internationally)

Also this week, if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some fun content popping up on the Bookstagram Tour!  There’s a separate giveaway going on exclusively on Instagram with a prize of another limited-edition Stitch scarf and ebooks of the entire series.  Click over to Instagram through the posts below and check out their captions for instructions to enter!

 

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Thank you so much to all of the awesome bloggers and Instagrammers who helped promote the tour!!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) and the entire series once you’ve had a chance to read it!!  Please remember to post your review on Amazon & Goodreads to let me know if you liked it!

Thank you again to all of readers and fans of the series who waited so patiently and enthusiastically for the book’s release.  It’s been so much fun sharing Alessa & Isaac’s adventures with you.  :-)

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season!

PS – The Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1) ebook is just $2.99 if you need a (cheap!) last minute holiday gift – Amazon now allows you to gift specific books to people on their Kindle (or Kindle app on any device).  It would be an amazing holiday treat if you could tell a friend about the series!!

Stitch Trilogy Movie/TV Dream Cast

With every book release, there’s one question I’m always *guaranteed* to be asked: Who would play your characters in the movie/TV version?

I’ve taken a stab at answering this question before, but I’d like to revisit my past selections and see if we can make any improvements – plus, we need to add casting for a couple new characters who will be joining us in Stuck!

Alessa – Emmy Rossum

Where you know her from: Shameless (TV series), The Phantom of the Opera (Movie, 2004)

Why I chose her in 2013: She’s young and fresh, and she’s got Alessa’s long brown hair, height, and down-to-earth “real girl” sensibility.  The only thing Emmy doesn’t have are Alessa’s striking green eyes – but that’s what color contacts and Photoshop are for, right?

2018 Verdict: Keep her!  I’ve been keeping my eyes out for the past 5 years and I still haven’t found another actress that fits better than Emmy.

 

Isaac – Alex Pettyfer

Where you know him from: Magic Mike (Movie, 2012), I Am Number Four (Movie, 2011)

Why I chose him in 2013: The eyes, the hair, the body… I challenge you to name one way this guy is NOT a perfect fit for Isaac.  Trust me, once you watch this clip of Alex taking off his shirt on the Ellen show, you won’t want to argue.  Plus, he’s got that classic look that can fit in anywhere from 1917 to 2114, which is exactly what Isaac needs to do.

2018 Verdict: I considered changing this one as I’m not as big a fan of his more recent grizzled look for Isaac, but after sifting through a few more 2018 photos that are more in line with the “Isaac aesthetic,” let’s stick with it!

 

Janie – Willa Holland

Where you know her from: Arrow (TV series), Legion (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Sharp, cute, and spunky with just enough edge, Willa would be perfect to play Alessa’s sidekick and closest confidant, Janie.  As long as she’s willing to trade her long locks for Janie’s messy bob, she’s got the part!

2018 Verdict: Well, as there’s no more question about her willingness to don a bob, I’d say she’s got the part!

 

Joe – Robbie Amell

Where you know him from: The Tomorrow People (TV series), The Duff (Movie, 2015)

Why I chose him in 2013: With his all-American (okay, Canadian) good looks and that mischievous, swaggering twinkle in his eye, Robbie would be the ideal big brother to Alex Pettyfer’s Isaac.

2018 Verdict: Unfortunately under layers of monstrous “Stuck” makeup we won’t be able to really appreciate that face anymore, but hey, there’s always flashbacks.  He’s got the job!

 

Lizzie – Katheryn Winnick

Where you know her from: Vikings (TV series), Killers (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Can you say “blonde bombshell?”  Katheryn has that classic hourglass shape and gorgeous glow that makes men drool – and look at that hair!!  But what I love most about her is that she’s not just a doe-eyed fantasy – when she’s determined (see here), she looks fierce.  Like Lizzie, this girl is more than just a pretty face.

2018 Verdict: Ummm, yes.  I’d say my previous assessment was pretty accurate – I don’t want to mess with her, do you?

 

Nikhil – Prateik Babbar

Where you know him from: Bollywood movies Mumbai Diaries (2010), Issaq (2013)

Why I chose him in 2013: Do I really need to explain?  Just go run a Google search for: prateik babbar shirtless and you’ll understand why Alessa was so taken with him in Stitch.

2018 Verdict: The fact that he’s apparently started going by just Prateik gives me pause… not to mention some other bad boy behavior that wouldn’t exactly square with Nikhil’s persona.  That being said, I still think he’s the best fit for the role.  However, we’ve definitely got Rushi Kota of Grey’s Anatomy fame on backup…

 

The Developer – Hayden Christensen

Where you know him from: Star Wars Episodes II & III (Movies, 2002 & 2005)

Why I chose him in 2013: Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m one of the few people who fell in love with Hayden Christensen in his role as Anakin Skywalker, mediocre acting notwithstanding.  But think about it – as the Developer, his awkward acting style would actually be a plus!  Pop some nerd glasses on this face, grow out a greasy mop of hair, and drop a few more pounds to match the Developer’s lanky frame, and I’m sure Hayden’s experience slaughtering innocent child padawans would help him tap into the Developer’s inner evil like an old pro.

2018 Verdict: Given the Developer’s evolution of growing increasingly unhinged over the course of Book 3 and the sociopathic gleam in Hayden’s eyes here, I still think he would be great in this role.  He’s in!

 

Deion – Kendrick Sampson

Where you know him from: How to Get Away with Murder (TV series), Vampire Diaries (TV series)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A – he’s new to Book 3!

2018 Verdict: Here’s a fun bit of trivia. Deion is actually the first character I created who was based on an actual actor!  I first saw Kendrick as Jesse, an ill-fated student on handful of episodes of the Vampire Diaries (Season 5).  I immediately knew his disarming charm and cool, confident demeanor would make him the perfect guide for reintroducing readers to Paragon, this time from an average citizen’s perspective – and, also, eventually, the perfect, balanced match for one of our spirited heroines who’s been feeling a bit neglected from a romantic standpoint (wink wink!).

 

Alex – Alex Landi

Where you know him from: Grey’s Anatomy (TV series), Broken Land (Movie, upcoming 2018)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A again – he’s also new to Book 3

2018 Verdict: Deion’s best friend makes his debut shirtless, so while I hate to be shallow, umm… look at this photo!  Alex (the actor) has definitely got Alex (the character’s) chiseled features and physique down to a science… all the better for catching the eye of one of our remaining partner-less heroines (but you’ll have to read the book to see who!).

So, what do you think, Stitch fans?  Do these actors fit pretty well with the characters you pictured in your head?  If this crew wasn’t available, who else would you cast in their place?  Let me know in the comments!

PS – Don’t miss these other fun guest posts from the Stuck Tour!
– Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit
– Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society? (Citizen, Rebel, Ruling Class, Engineer, or Stuck)
– A Tale of Three Book Covers (How the Stitch, Shudder, & Stuck Covers Were Designed)
– A Playlist of Music to Go With Stuck

The wait is OVER – Stuck is HERE!!!

Guess what Stitch Trilogy fans:

The wait is OVER – Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) is finally here!!!

You can grab your copy NOW – $3.99 ebook, $9.99 print – available at Amazon (print & Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), iTunes, Kobo, and wherever else ebooks are sold!

I *can’t wait* to hear what you all think about the conclusion to Alessa & Isaac’s adventures.  As always, it would be a HUGE help if you could tell your friends about the series and post a review on Amazon & Goodreads!  Thank you for all your support!!

(I’ve waited 5 long years to finish that spot on my bookshelf… damn, that feels good.)

Happy reading!!!

PS – Stuck is on tour through the 22nd!  Follow along for reviews, fun guest posts and interviews, excerpts, and of course, a big giveaway!

Four Fabulous Reviews! – Stuck Tour

We’re back on the Stuck Tour today with some of the FIRST feedback I’ve gotten on the book, and I am *so* happy to report that these stops include four new awesome reviews!

Check out these highlights:

  • Sheila at Why Not? Because I Said So says, “the twists just keep on coming… a fantastic ending to this trilogy.”
  • Laura at FUONLYKNEW agrees, “A perfect finale to a series that fueled my imagination and captured my heart.”
  • Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature adds, “a big spiral with twists and turns that kept me guessing.”
  • And Bri at Bri’s Book Nook is new to the series – “I have been loving this series so far! I finished Book 1 and Book 2 recently, and I am currently around 50% of the way through this one. I can tell you guys that it has been great so far, but very suspenseful.”  Her post today includes a full review of Stitch (Book 1), with reviews of Shudder (Book 2) and Stuck (Book 3) planned for later stops on the tour!

As always, at all of these stops, take a moment to enter the big tour giveaway!  It’s open internationally and prizes include print and ebooks of the entire series, Amazon gift cards, a limited edition scarf, and more!

Guys, I can’t even believe it’s really here: Stuck will be available TOMORROW, Saturday 12/15.  (If you’d like an email reminder once the purchase link is live, please sign up on the list here!  No spam, ever, and only 3 or 4 emails a year, max.  Promise!)

Ahhh!!!  I hope you all love it just as much!!!!

Stuck Music Playlist, Excerpt, Author Interview & More!

I’m back today with a few more highlights from this week’s Stuck Blog Tour posts!

First, if you’re itching to get your hands on the book, we’ve got a *spinetingling* excerpt over at Wishful Endings.

Next, swing by Paulette’s Papers for a guest post which includes a playlist of music to go with specific chapters of Stuck!

And finally, head over to Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, & Characters for an author interview where we touch on everything from the appeal of dystopian novels, what sets Stuck apart from others in its genre, to what I’m up to outside of writing and why it took so long for me to finish this book!!

And, of course, at all of these stops, you can enter the big tour giveaway!!!  (Open internationally – prizes include books, Amazon gift cards, a limited edition scarf, and more!)

Stuck will be available THIS SATURDAY 12/15.  If you’d like a reminder once it’s up, please sign up on the email list here!  (No spam, ever, I promise!)

Kicking off the Stuck Tour! + Guest Post & Giveaway

Stitch Trilogy fans, the countdown has begun!!

Release day for Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) is only a few short days away on Saturday, December 15th (sign up here for a reminder once it’s available!) and TODAY we are launching the Stuck Blog Tour & Bookstagram!

The full tour schedule will run from now through December 22nd, with TWO big giveaways with lots of prizes, and tons of interviews, guest posts, sneak peek excerpts, and more!

Keep up with the tour by checking back here regularly, or by following the Samantha Durante or Stitch Trilogy’s Facebook pages, @SamanthaDurante on Twitter, or @AuthorSamanthaDurante on Instagram.

And don’t miss these highlights from today’s stops!

  • Enter the big tour giveaway over at the Launch Post at Prism Tours, or at Wishful Endings, or Andi’s Young Adult Books
    • Prizes include signed print copies of the entire trilogy, a limited-edition Stitch scarf, ebook copies for you and a friend, bookmarks, and Amazon gift cards galore!  Open internationally, one (1) first prize winner and three (3) second place winners.  Enter at the links above!
  • Check out the Guest Post “A Tale of Three Book Covers” over at Andi’s Young Adult Books!

Huge thanks to Prism Tours and all the bloggers/instagrammers signed up for the tour!  So excited to hear what you all have to say about the book!!

STUCK Cover Reveal + *Giveaway!*

So excited to finally share the cover for Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3)!

I had this cover designed wayyy back in 2016 and have been (very impatiently) sitting on it ever since.  You may have caught a sneak preview in the back of Shudder if you have a recently purchased/updated e-book copy, but besides that, I’ve mostly been waiting until closer to the book’s release (scheduled for December 15th!!) to share.

So, without further ado, here it is!

If you’re familiar with the other books in the series, you’ll see that it’s keeping in line with the same theme, and features a callback to the cover of Stitch – only, a slightly *twisted* version of that cover!  (If you remember the big cliffhanger at the end of Shudder, you’ll know who this one is referring to!!)

 

Hope you guys love it as much as I do!

And, of course, to celebrate we’re doing a giveaway!!

1 winner will receive a Prize Pack with e-books of STITCH and SHUDDER, plus a $10 Amazon eGift Card
Ends October 12th, open internationally

 

And while you’re at it, you *may* want to go ahead and add Stuck to your Goodreads TBR, and perhaps even preorder a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes? (Note: only e-books will be available for preorder – print copies will become available on release day, sign up for an email reminder!)

huge thank you to Prism Book Tours and all the awesome bloggers who are helping me to promote the release!  I am SO excited to hear what you guys think of the book in just a few short weeks (!!!)…  :-D (More info about the planned Blog Tour & Bookstagram coming soon!  Bloggers up here!)

Grab the Prism Book Tours Button!

Celebrating Alana’s 5th Birthday This Awareness Month

As many of you know, my first child – my daughter, Alana – was born still just two days before her due date in October of 2013. I had just released Shudder and spent the summer gushing about her impending arrival on a 12-week long blog tour that garnered rave reviews. I had big plans to stick to my once-a-year release schedule, completing the trilogy with Stuck’s release the following summer, and starting a new as-yet-to-be-determined series the next. I had a thriving career, a happy family, a shiny new home, was coming off my first blissful year of marriage, and I was young and eager and fulfilled.

Alana’s death derailed everything.

It’s amazing how much can change in an instant. We heard those words – there’s no heartbeat – and time ground to a halt. Up became down. The world pivoted, hard, on its axis. And I, as I once was, ceased to exist.

It’s still surreal to think about.

But though the world had stopped turning for me, it kept going for everyone else. When you’re 9 months pregnant and your baby inexplicably dies, you don’t get much of a choice about speaking up about it. Everyone who knew me knew that I was pregnant. Which meant that everyone now needed to un-know.

I’m not going to lie, this was a humbling experience. Humiliating may be better word. Because even though I knew in my head that I had done nothing wrong, that I’d followed all the doctor’s orders, that I’d have given anything – anything – for a different outcome, in my heart, I still felt responsible. I still felt like a failure.

[Because this is what our society does: blames victims. Victims of tragedy, of violence, of abuse. Because we are all too terrified to acknowledge that we could be next. This is stigma in action. Also, #misogyny – it’s convenient how the victims who “caused” their own trauma almost always seem to be female, no?]

It took me near a month to work up the nerve to publicly announce our horrific news. Part of me would really have preferred to just be left alone in my misery. But in the end, I knew if I could help just one person to feel less alone than we did – or better yet, prevent one family from suffering the same fate – that was the only good I could ever see coming out of all this devastation. That was the only legacy I could build for my daughter. And so I did.

We had an outpouring of support. But even surrounded by love, my grief was so suffocating I could barely breathe – for months, years even. I whiled away so many days in a stupor of tears and terror and guilt, even after the healthy birth of my son. The only thing I could bring myself to write about was her. (Hence why we, dear reader, find ourselves 5 years later only *now* finally releasing Stuck!)

But somehow, the gaping wounds scabbed over. The shards of our hearts sealed themselves back together. The vise-grip around our chests loosened up just ever so much.

And we survived.

Five years and two cherished subsequent children later, I can tell you that I still think about Alana every day, and my understanding (from those who’ve walked this road before me) is that this will be true until the end of my days. I miss her deeply, I wonder who she would have been, I ache for my other children who never got to know their older sibling

But also, I am grateful. I am grateful for her – for the short time I had to carry her, and for everything (and everyone) she has brought to our lives. For the ways she’s changed us. I am bursting with gratitude, actually, the depths of which I could not ever have conceived of, before.

There was a time, after Alana died, when I couldn’t imagine ever feeling anything but sorrow ever again; a time when I couldn’t imagine ever wanting anything more than a chance to turn back the clock. Now, even knowing the outcome, I would gladly do it all over again. I’d choose her a billion times, over any other baby, even one that lives. (Though if choosing *her* alive were an option, that’d still take the cake every single time.)

Needless to say, I never in a million years saw any of this coming.

The worst part of this story, I’ve come to learn though, is that it’s not unique. What happened to me happens to 70 other families every. single. day. It happened to 70 yesterday, and will happen to 70 more tomorrow. And that’s just in the United States – and just stillbirth. Expand that out to include the rest of the world, to include miscarriage, to include SIDS and other neonatal deaths. The numbers are staggering.

And yet, the vast majority of us are suffering in silence.

Why?

Well, *I* used to be why. I used to be one of those “Everything happens for a reason!” people. (If I ever said this to you, particularly in a time of pain, I’M SORRY. I TAKE IT ALL BACK.) But, as I can see now, this is another one of those things that we tell ourselves when we don’t want to (can’t) acknowledge the random cruelty of our world. This phrase is a get-out-of-jail-free card; it absolves us of responsibility in the face of suffering and injustice. It puts a wall between us – the lucky ones, the “chosen” ones (we believe) – and them – those unfortunate suckers who have an important lesson to learn, or some god’s work to do, or whatever. This works great, until the day that you become one of them. Then it just really sucks.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in 5 years of missing my child, it is this: heartbreak is the great equalizer. Every bereaved parent I know, no matter what color, class, or creed, aches the same way. Every bereaved *person* I know aches the same way, no matter who they are missing.

And so the woman who found meaning in everyone’s suffering but her own (b/c, of course, she had none of her own to speak of) died and was buried along with her daughter. And, somewhere down the line, a new woman took her place, one who lives and loves by a different motto (coined by none other than the apparently very wise Dr. Seuss):

*This* here, in my deeply humbled opinion, is the only meaning to be found in suffering. We are all bound to suffer, sooner or later – that is the price for love. The question is: what are you going to do about it?

And so that brings me back around to Awareness Month. As I somehow glimpsed in those early, empty, strangled weeks, this here is the good that I can do in my daughter’s name. I care a whole awful lot that no else walks into a labor and delivery unit to be blindsided. That no else is tormented by the words, “What if.” That no else is swallowed up by an ocean of grief without an anchoring hand to hold. That no one else’s love for their child is silenced.

This is what Awareness is about. It’s about compassion, for those of us who are in pain. And it’s about knowledge, for those of us who, thankfully, are not.

This October, if you have lost a baby, please, (if you’re ready) share your story. If you haven’t lost a baby, please, listen – and most importantly, learn.

If you love someone who’s lost a baby, please, show your support. If you think you don’t know anyone who’s lost a baby, please, listen harder – because unfortunately, I promise, you definitely do. (1 in 4 expectant women will lose a baby during pregnancy or infancy. 1 in 4!)

There are a lot of really simple things you can do to participate in Awareness Month, in honor of all babies gone too soon. Some (like changing your social media profile frame) take only seconds. Take a moment to learn more at www.starlegacyfoundation.org/awareness-month

And with that, I am heading out to spend the day celebrating – yes, as unbelievable as I would have found that 5 years ago today, actually celebrating – my eldest daughter’s brief life. I hope you will do me the honor of spending a few moments today learning about Pregnancy & Infant Loss and how to have an empowered pregnancy.

On behalf of Alana and myself, thank you. <3

2 New Arrivals: Mia and… STUCK!!!

Dear Stitch Fans, I am over-the-moon to announce not one, but two brand-spanking-new arrivals!

First, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Mia!

Baby Mia joined us earlier this summer and has filled all our hearts to bursting, especially big brothers Kiran & Gio (the cat).  She is the sweetest little nugget we could ever have hoped for, and – as the meaning of her name (“wished for”) attests – she has given us the priceless gift of another opportunity to raise a daughter, something we wondered if we had lost forever after her older sister, Alana, was stillborn in 2013 (shortly after I published Book 2 in the series, Shudder).

In fact, Mia’s imminent arrival was the catalyst for this next announcement as well!  Knowing how much (read: little) time I’ve been able to devote to writing in the 3+ years since Kiran’s birth, I was determined to finish Stuck before she was born… figuring it certainly wasn’t going to be getting any easier with two kids running around here!*  And so, this spring, I set to work finally getting the last installment of the Stitch Trilogy on paper.  (No small feat, considering I’d procrastinated long enough that by the end, I was facing down a grueling pace of needing to average one chapter a day for the last two-ish months of her pregnancy… whoops!)

I am so thrilled to announce that, somehow (thanks to a very thorough outline!!), it all came together: Stuck is finished!  (Well, the first draft is, anyhow.)  Right now it’s being scrutinized by beta readers, and assuming they don’t all think it’s garbage (fingers crossed!), I’m targeting a release by the end of this year.  :-D

There is a Cover Reveal & Giveaway planned for this fall, and I will announce the official release date (and preorder links!) with that promotion.  In the meantime, please go ahead and add Stuck to your Goodreads TBR (To Be Read) shelf and follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter for updates about the release!  (You can also sign up on my mailing list for an email reminder as soon as Stuck is available for purchase!)

I hope you guys are excited about these announcements as I am!  Thank you for all your support, and stay tuned for more updates soon!!

PS – If you missed the sneak preview excerpt from Stuck on my previous post, head over there to whet your appetite for the final book of the Stitch Trilogy!

[*As a babyloss mom, I feel the need to qualify here: two kids running around if I got very lucky to be able to bring home another living child.  I don’t know one other loss parent who will ever feel comfortable enough again to make that kind of assumption, and I don’t want to pretend that I’m immune, either.  To be perfectly candid, the only thing I knew was that I would be leaving the hospital with my arms full – with a baby, or with another round of soulcrushing grief.  Either way, I didn’t think I’d be getting much work done!!  And boy was that assessment spot on – it took me *nearly* as long to write the last 2 chapters and read the first draft as it did to write the first 48!]

…Nothing to See Here, Folks

SuperBoringAnnouncementsOh, hey there.  Not much new around here, just a few super boring announcements I wanted to share.  Nothing exciting, so don’t go getting your knickers in a bunch.

  1. I’ve got a new cover for Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) – if you own an e-book copy of Shudder and can update it to the latest version (most readers can do that at www.amazon.com/mycd), you can find a sneak peek right before the Epilogue.
  2. If you can’t see the new cover in your copy, no worries – I’m planning to do an official Cover Reveal soon.  Any book bloggers out there want to help me?
  3. Oh yeah, almost forgot: Stuck is ~65% done, and I have plans to finish the first draft in the next 24 days.  No big deal.
  4. You’re still here?  Wow, you must really have nothing better to do…  Well, as a reward for sticking around, here’s a quick excerpt from Book 3:

Isaac reclined back on the shore absentmindedly digging his fingers through the grass, enjoying the scent of fresh pine needles, the unseasonably warm spring sun stroking his face, and – especially – the view.

Alessa stood with her back to him, her tall, curvaceous form poised on the edge of a large boulder, the afternoon sun reflecting off the water of the lake onto her long, bare limbs, her skin glowing luminous against the forest.  Isaac groaned hungrily to himself, and she paused to toss one coy, teasing glance over her shoulder at him before leaping off and slipping into the water.

Surfacing with a yelp, she swam hastily towards the shore, visibly shivering under the gentle waves.

The spell broken, Isaac chuckled and called out, “I don’t know what else you were expecting in March.”

Her teeth chattering, she waded in the neck-deep water until she could find her footing.  “It’ll be April n-n-n-next week,” she argued, hissing through clenched lips.

“And April is swimming weather since when exactly?”  Isaac laughed and shook his head.  “Come here and let me warm you up.”  He narrowed his sapphire eyes at her enticingly.

Alessa grinned.  She worked her way towards him, the water slinking over her limbs as her smooth, porcelain skin broke the surface with each stroke.  Isaac’s stomach clenched with desire.

Dipping her face under, she came up standing and tossed her dripping hair back.  The lake now at her shoulders, she treaded slowly forward, Isaac’s heart rollicking in anticipation as the water inched down, down, down over her chest.

And then, just before it reached the promised land, she went rigid, her features twisted in concern.

Isaac shot up.  “What is it?”

Alessa’s eyes darted across the shoreline, searching.  “I’m not sure.  I felt something.”

Isaac grimaced.  “I told you there were snakes in there.”

“No, not snakes.”  Alessa waved him off.  “I think it might be… them.

Understanding, alarm prickled down his back.  “The creatures.”

Guys, guys… in case you fell for my Jedi mind trick (did you? did you??), to be clear, I am SUPER EXCITED about all of the above!!!  I’ve been trying to play it cool, but man, cool is NOT my thing, you know?  Ahhhh!!!  Stuck is almost done!  I’m planning to release it later this year!!  THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER!  Official release date will come with the Cover Reveal in a couple months – I don’t want to commit to anything yet until I’m 100% sure I can deliver, and, oh, I’m expecting a baby in a few weeks (another girl!!! Kiran is SO excited to be a big brother!), so yeah things are a little hectic around here – but IT’S REALLY HAPPENING.  Consider my knickers bunched!  Hope yours are too!!!

In all seriousness, I know it’s been a long wait; thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin.  I can’t tell you how much all of your support means to me, and I absolutely can’t wait to share Book 3 with you!

PS – In case you follow my grief writing, I had a guest post last week over at Glow in the Woods (my favorite ever babyloss blog, I’m SO HONORED to be published there!) about Postpartum Anxiety, as inspired by the AWESOME recent sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place.  Check it out!  (And if you haven’t seen the movie, definitely do!)