My 2019 Bookshelf

Sunday, January 19, 2020

my favorite book browsing buddy // photo creds to katie, our favorite photographer on earth. ♥

2019 can be marked as the year that I fell back in love with reading.

Growing up, I always loved to read. I've been obsessed with stories for as long as I can remember, and I think that my biggest dream will always be to sell a novel. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home with no shortage of books, and my childhood was filled with stories.

I didn't realize how drastically my five-books-a-week streak had shifted until my senior year of high school. While my elementary school records were pretty impossible to keep up with as life got crazier, I still managed to read on a fairly consistent basis throughout high school. Freshman year fed my classic literature obsession, sophomore year was all things Harry Potter, and junior year lent itself to a lot of Mary Higgins Clark novels. To this day, I still have a fantasy book on my shelf that I started in January of my senior year and never finished. I don't know if I ever will, which can't be blamed on the book in the slightest, but instead on the fact that I think a part of me just doesn't want to know how it ends at this point.

I can only beat myself up so much for the reading drought of senior year, because it was simply a season of other things. But somehow, the drought turned into a habit, and my freshman year of college wasn't much better. Reading kept getting thrown lower and lower on the totem pole. I still loved it, but I couldn't convince myself of the "value" of it. It didn't feel "productive" enough, so I wouldn't let myself. I threw myself into other things, leaving my bookshelf to gather dust.

It really wasn't until this past spring that I let myself fall back in love with reading again. On a whim, two weeks before finals, I picked up a sweet romance book that I'd been eyeing and slipped it into my bag on my way out the door. Later that day, I found myself with some free time in between classes and opened it up.

Within 24 hours, the book was finished and I was back.

- - - - -

One of my favorite parts of the blogosphere each December/January is reading everyone's reading recaps of the year. I always keep my Goodreads open in the next tab, and love adding new recommendations to my TBR (which is so infinitely long. it's eating me. help.). So, this year, I decided to join in. :-) Obviously this isn't a comprehensive list of all of the books that I read in 2019, but just some of my favorites. ♥

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

Sometimes I get asked to review books for work (I do social media management/event work for a local indie bookstore), and this was one of those books. I have to admit that I didn't have super high hopes going in, but I really enjoyed it overall. Hope and Other Punchlines tells the story of Abbi Hope, a teenage girl who has been living in the shadow of an iconic photo that was taken of her as a baby during the 9/11 attacks. Desperate to be someone besides "Baby Hope", she tries to give herself one perfect summer...until she meets Noah Stern, who's stupidly charming and has reasons of his own for being obsessed with that fateful day. Through a bit of blackmail, he drags her into his scheme to uncover the truth about each person in the Baby Hope photo. It's a heartwarming story of love, resilience, and lots of gummy bears that reminds you that hope is always within your grasp.

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Here's where the reading kick finally came into play, in the last week of April when I should have been doing so many things besides reading a romance novel. Gotta say though, no regrets.

Field Notes on Love is basically the novel equivalent of a rom-com. Recently dumped Hugo, a British teenager desperate to figure out what he wants to do with his life, finds himself with an extra ticket for a train trip across America, a trip he was supposed to take with his longtime girlfriend, Margaret Campbell. Problem? The ticket is non-transferrable, and Hugo doesn't exactly have a litany of friends named Margaret Campbell. And so he creates an internet listing, for any Margaret Campbell up for an adventure.

Enter Mae - an aspiring filmmaker who's ready to go out on a limb. When she responds to Hugo's listing, she has no idea what to expect - but she's ready to give it a try, and in the process finds the inspiration that she's been so desperate for.

It's a sweet book, funny and heartwarming. It's a book about adventure and family and finding your place in the world. Jennifer Smith has a fun, quirky style that I always love when I just need a break from the stress (as you'll see by how many of her books made it onto this list).

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

You know that there was no way I was writing up a post about the books of 2019 without mentioning 100 Days of Sunlight. I will forever be obsessed with this one. You may have already seen my post about this beautiful debut novel, but if not, let me fill you in.

100 Days of Sunlight tells the story of teenage blogger Tessa Dickenson. After Tessa is involved in a car accident, she finds herself completely blind. Doctors have hope that her sight will return in a little over three months, but for the time being, Tessa is trapped in a world of darkness. She's bitter and doesn't know how to cope with this new way of life. She's no longer able to write, and she doesn't see how life can hold any beauty for her any longer. 

Enter Weston Ludovico. When Tessa's grandparents place an ad for someone to come and help Tessa maintain her poetry blog while she is without her sight, amputee Weston decides that he just might be the right person for the job. He gets what Tessa is going through even when she feels like no one does, and thinks that he can help her. His one condition? Tessa can't know that he lost his legs. 

Slowly, Weston coaxes Tessa out of the darkness she's trapped herself in, far darker than any blindness. But when Tessa's sight slowly begins to return, is Weston ready to be seen?

I love this book I love this book I love this book. It is everything I could want in a novel, written by one of the most incredible humans on this earth. At its very core, it is a book about hope and light and falling but getting back up again. It's about strength and about sunlight, and about realizing that your only real limitation in life is yourself. I can honestly say that I've never read a book as hopeful as 100 Days of Sunlight, and that is without a doubt my favorite thing about it. If you're in a place right now where you feel like you're running out of options, or that things are never going to get better, or that you don't know how to pick yourself back up - this is the book for you.

(It also has the most precious hate to love romance, the cutest small town setting, and involves waffles and polaroids and summertime adventures. It's an absolute blessing of a book and I need you to read it right now.) 

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

You knew that you couldn't have a book-related post from me without World War II fiction. Resistance Women tells the story of three women and the roles that they played in trying to take down the Nazis in WWII era Berlin. What I really liked about this one is that most of the book actually took place prior to the war, so you could see how it all built up. The differing perspectives take you everywhere from an American woman living in Germany, German natives of both high and low classes, and a Jewish woman caught in the midst of the Nazi rise. It's not an easy read - my longest book of the year at over 600 pages, and so many different storylines that it can be hard to keep track, and it starts off a bit slow. But once it gets going - hang on, because you are in for a ride. It was genuine and raw and heartbreaking, and gives you a really unique look into such a devastating time.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Oh look, another WWII book! This one was majorly hyped both online and at the store, and I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy. It didn't disappoint. It tells the breathtaking true story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew forced to work as the T├Ątoweirer of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. It's a beautiful story about one of the darkest places in human history, and it's incredible to read about the sacrifice, love, and strength of the people imprisoned there. It's one of those books that blows you away because it feels so impossible that it could all be true.

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

This is quite possibly my favorite book of the year. I grabbed it on a whim at work one day, and brought it with me on a day trip, which was probably a horrible idea, because I couldn't focus on anything else but this book. The Stationery Shop is a story of love amidst revolution, of family, relationships, upheaval, and hope. It takes place in Iran, and is beautifully evocative in its description of the setting and of the culture. The characters are as real as old friends, and the book is so well-written that you'll never want to put it down. There just are not enough words for this book. It is brilliant and it is poignant and it is beautiful and it is heartbreaking. It is stunning in its intricacy, the story haunting and heartwrenching. It made me want to cry, which, if you know me, says a lot right there. Painfully realistic, with a thread of hope and the amazement that everything always seems to come full circle in the end. I couldn't get enough of it. It's already back in the stack of books on my nightstand, begging for a reread. Seriously - read. this. book.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I told you that you'd find a lot of Jennifer Smith books sprinkled throughout this recap. :-) I have to say that out of all of her books that I read over the year, this was probably my favorite. It is just so, so good. It tells the story of Hadley and Oliver, two teenagers struggling through the difficulty and mess of family who, due to a missed flight, end up navigating the chaos of JFK and an overnight flight to London together.

As the synopsis says, who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Jennifer Smith really did a beautiful job with this book. It takes place over a 24 hour period, and while normally I hate "insta-love", the story just flowed so naturally. The characters were so developed and nuanced, the story intelligent. I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

Resurgence by K.A. Emmons

This is another one that you've definitely heard me scream about already, but it's time for round two, because this book is just too good.

The final book installment in The Blood Race trilogy (OR SO WE WERE TOLD), Resurgence is one of the best finale books I've ever read. I typically find myself disappointed with the endings to series, but this book could not have been more perfect. Seeing each character's arc come to a close was bittersweet, like saying goodbye to an old friend. But they were just woven together so brilliantly. The whole book itself was a work of brilliance, really. It completely exceeded my expectations. The allegory and themes were stunning, and I love that every single person who reads it is going to get a little something different out of it. I already want to read it again, and you definitely need to pick it up, too.

If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher

The first nonfiction favorite of the year!! You all know by now that I love Hannah Brencher, and I was so excited to dive into her first book after receiving it as a birthday gift this summer.

If you don't know, Hannah is the creator of More Love Letters, a nonprofit organization that specializes in sending bundles of love letters to people who need a reminder of love and of hope. If You Find This Letter tells the story of how a lonely season in New York City turned Hannah's life upside down, and sparked a movement that's impacted so many people.

Hannah has the most comfortable writing style, and I love her ability to make you laugh and punch you in the heart within the same paragraph. It's impossible not to relate to her as she navigates the ups and downs of unknowns after college. I will forever read anything that she writes, and this book most certainly did not disappoint.

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

I read a lot of historical fiction, but this quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list. The majority of WWII fiction revolves around the camps, but this gave a new perspective - the kindertransports system, run by Truus, a woman unable to bear children herself who is determined to get all of the Jewish children safely out of Austria. It's one of those rare books with multiple storylines that keeps you engrossed in every single page, and leaves you in awe of the people who fought not only for their own lives, but for the lives of every single person that they possibly could. This book will keep you hooked until the final page, and will make you hold the kids in your life a bit more tightly.

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

I still remember the day that I happened upon this book. I was going through a pile of ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) and the bookstore, logging them in the computer system, when I grabbed this one out of the stack. The cover intrigued me, and the author's name was familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. Naturally, I flipped it over to read the synopsis, only to be met by the words, "From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz... "

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty sure that I squealed. As I mentioned earlier, I loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and up until that point I had no idea that a sequel was even in the works. A very happy surprise, indeed. :-)

I ended up devouring all 400 pages of this book on a long car ride, and while I have to say that I didn't love it quite as much as The Tattooist of Auschwitz, it really was an incredible story, made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that, again, it was true. 

The book follows Cilka, a young girl who was forced into sleeping with an Auschwitz commandant in order to survive. When Auschwitz is liberated, it appears that she is finally free - until she's charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy (despite the fact that it was rape), and is sent to a prison camp in Siberia. 

Cilka's Journey follows her life in Siberia, and her struggle for survival. It's a gutting book, and while I didn't think it was quite as well-written as Morris's first, it's such an important, poignant story. 

All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

It had been a while since I'd read a middle grade book, but I snagged an ARC of this one at work and fell in love. It's a sweet story that takes place in SoHo in the 80's, and revolves Olympia, a twelve-year-old girl who doesn't know what to do when her dad disappears and her mom won't get out of bed. It's a story filled to the brim with art, so vividly written that I felt like the book was bursting with color. And I loved how perfectly written Olympia's voice was - it had all of the honest charm of a twelve-year-old, and at the same time was so poignant and profound. It's a beautiful story of family, friendship, mental health, creativity, and love, and it made me very grateful that I dove back into middle grade.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

What happens when two of the unluckiest kids in the world suddenly win the lottery?

Windfall is the story of Alice and Teddy, best friends who haven't had the easiest time in life. Alice's parents died just a year apart from each other when she was a child, and Teddy's dad walked out, leaving his family to deal with his gambling debts. So when Alice buys Teddy a winning lottery ticket for his birthday, it seems like the luckiest thing in the world - until suddenly, all of the change doesn't feel quite so lucky.

I loved Alice and Teddy's friendship. It was so genuine and sweet. The character dynamics in this book were wonderful. Windfall is a book about family, and what that looks like when it has to take a new shape. It's about luck and love, about growing up and finding your place. It was a really sweet book, a quick read that I loved.

Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher 

I will never stop singing the praises of Come Matter Here. This book.

If I could give everyone in the world a copy of it, I would. Full of all of the wisdom that Hannah Brencher so beautifully shares, Come Matter Here is about staying where your feet are. it's about intentionality and doing hard things and not letting fear write your story. It's about figuring out what home really is, and finding the people who pick you up from the airport. It's about relationship - with God, and with the people that He gives us to love and to fight for.

I had to keep a notebook with me the entire time that I was reading this book, because it is just so. dang. good. Hannah is the queen of truth bombs, and I just want to tattoo this entire book on my heart and on my walls. No matter where you are in life, I promise, this book holds something for you. Read it. Read it. Read it.

- - - - -

Books are a special form of magic, I think. I finished up my second of the year last night - Little Women. It had been far too long since I'd visited the March sisters, and all of the hype for the movie made me want to dive back into their world. 

The reading kick isn't going to be slowing down anytime soon, either. This semester, I'm taking a Young Adult Lit class, and we have a project that involves reading 25 books of our choice over the course of the semester. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly intimidated, but for the most part I am just so incredibly excited. So if you have any recommendations to send my way for that, please do! I have a lot of reading to do. :-)

What about you? What were your favorite reads of 2019? Did we have any of the same favorites? What are you looking forward to diving into in 2020? Let's have allll the bookish chats in the comments below! 

light has come

Sunday, December 29, 2019

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:4-5

- - - - -
I will be the first to admit that I am the worst at science. I never liked it in high school, and college chemistry just about killed me. The thought that I still need one more science class to graduate makes me want to cry, but we're putting that aside today and diving into a bit of science. Specifically, I want to talk about light. 
Light has the fastest speed of anything in the universe - it travels at 299,792,458 meters per second. It is made up of electromagnetic waves, and darkness is simply the absence of electromagnetic waves - the absence of light. 
While the human eye may not be able to see it, light is never gone completely. This is due to the fact that all matter emits electromagnetic radiation, giving off light. 
Thus, it is physically impossible for darkness to overcome light. Just think about it - if you're in a dark room and you strike a match, you will see light. It doesn't matter that the entire room was dark prior to the match being struck, or that there is so much darkness in the room and just the one small light. Once the match was struck, there was light. 
- - - - -
This Christmas season, the Lord has been bringing this same verse to my attention over and over and over. It's been a part of every Christmas show that I've attended, been an integral part of one of my Advent devotionals, and popped up on my social media more times than I can count. Okay, Jesus, I'm paying attention. 
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. "
I don't know if you've ever used, but it's my favorite site when it comes to studying Scripture. The great thing about Bible Hub is that it gives you the ability to type in a verse and see every single version of that verse all on the same page. It's fascinating to see the different ways that different versions phrase the same truth, and that's true for the verse as well. 
NIV is generally one of the most frequently used translations, so that's what I went with when I shared the verse at the beginning of this email. I want to specifically focus on the end of the verse - "and the darkness has not overcome it" - because I think that's what hits me the most when it comes to this passage, and what I love most when going through the different versions. 
"Has not", used in the NIV, is present tense - it's the here and now. the Bible may have been written thousands of years ago, but it's the Living Word, and the truth remains the same - the darkness has not overcome the light. No matter how dark the world may look, it cannot overcome the light.
The New Living Translation says that "the darkness can never extinguish it". KJV says that "the darkness comprehended it not", and New American Standard comes in similarly with "the darkness did not comprehend it". The Contemporary English version states that "the light keeps shining in the dark, and the darkness has never put it out". At the end of the day, regardless of which version you prefer, they're all saying the same thing: darkness has notand will not win. 
I think that can be a difficult thing to remember, especially if this holiday season is a harder one for you. When you're watching the celebrations but feel as though joy has skipped you over this year, it's hard to believe that darkness isn't able to engulf the light. 
Yet light is so much stronger.
The very first words that God used to speak the world into existence: "Let there be light." When Jesus was born, the first sign of his birth - the first sign that the world had just been forever changed - was a star. A light. That light was the first sign that hope had come. That through His life - the light of the world - we had a new hope. We had the gift of grace. We had rest from our striving and peace from our strife. 
We had light.
I don't know what life looks like for you this Christmas. But if this season seems darker than you'd hoped, I want you to know that if we were sitting across from each other, coffee mugs in hand, I would tell you that light has still won. Sometimes it's harder to see - it's a single dying match instead of a bonfire. But it's there. I promise you, with all my heart, it's there. It's why we get to celebrate tomorrow - because through a baby, we were given hope.
Something that I didn't know before this year's Advent (I've been going through Hannah Brencher's daily study, and it has been so. darn. good.) was that the first prophecy of the birth of Jesus came at a time of massive darkness. It was 700 years before the birth of Jesus, and yet again, God's people had abandoned Him. They were prideful and filling their lives with worthless idols. There's no doubt that it was a chaotic, difficult time to live in. 
Sound familiar?
Yet it was at this time of so much darkness that the first prophecy is proclaimed, and "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light....for unto us a child is born....and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". 
In a time of so much darkness, the first spark of hope was lit. The promise of the light to come, the light that we now get to celebrate. 
We have hope. We have joy. We have peace - despite our circumstances - because we get to know Him. It's worth celebrating every single second that we're alive, but I love that Christmas gives us an extra opportunity to praise the goodness that we have been given. 
Like we said earlier - darkness is simply the absence of light. And we have hope because the Light has come. Oh, He has come. Light has won. 
And it will never be overtaken. 


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Everything around me is golden these days. 

I drive down the winding roads that I know like the back of my hand, lined with crimson trees and fallen leaves, the warm afternoon light leaving everything tinged with a glow.

The world has been painted in red and orange and I'm painting myself with it, too, grabbing a paintbrush and tracing the colors up and down my arms. If I paint the colors on my skin, will they stay?

Whenever I can, I curl up in my little nook under the blanket from Jamie and soak in the light warming my white walls with golden hues. I work or I read or I just sit and watch the light dance.

And for a moment, everything is still.

My heartbeat keeps time with the rhythm of it all, the alarm clock ringing and the swing of the car door and my footsteps on the pavement as I trek the familiar paths.

And everything is golden.

I thought the hues would have disappeared weeks ago, but they're holding on, and I am, too. Autumn has wrapped her fingers round more tightly than I'd expected, but I'm not going to be the one to pry them loose.

I laugh with him and hug her and whisper stay stay stay as we hurry and move and run through our days. The boxes are being checked and the due dates are being met and I return to my nook of it's good. 

Then the busy stops to breathe and the turkey comes out and for a few days, everything seems to halt.  The world is silent but my mind is loud, asking question after question because it's never seemed to like silence.

I laugh with family and eat what would probably be considered too many forms of potatoes and I breathe in the quiet.

And then the next morning, I sit on my bed and crack open the spine of journals packed away months ago. My fingers trace handwriting crammed tightly on the page some days and scribbled wildly others and I marvel at all that can happen in a year. I think that oftentimes gratitude for where you are can only increase when you look at where you've been, and those ink stained pages always remind me of that. They remind me of how much changes and how much stays and of Who is in control of it all. They break me and they mend me, and their weight stays present on my chest for the rest of the day.

And everything is golden.

And I know that the gold is giving way to crimson and the grip is loosening every day and the light is changing. Because Ponyboy was right, nothing gold can stay. But my mind keeps taking snapshots of every ray of light, and I wish that I could live behind a camera but I can't. I can't. God knows that I try, but I can't.

My winding roads will soon be growing barer as the mountain trees succumb to winter's breath. The light will change, and I will change, too. The ink stained pages remind me of that. But they also remind me that I am held. I am held, even when I can't feel the grasp. My grip doesn't hold, no matter how I exhaust myself trying. But I am held.

So I soak in the gold. The paint will fade from my skin, but I let it stay while it can. I keep filling the pages. I keep taking the snapshots. I keep sitting in the sun.

Resurgence Blog Tour || (in which my heart explodes) || Book Review + Author Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Monday, September 30, 2019

photo credits to the amazing K. A. Emmons 
I just want to shout about this book from the rooftops. 

Back in 2017, I had the honor of helping coordinate the blog tour for my dear friend Kate Emmons's debut novel, The Blood Race, and here we are, two years later and the final book in The Blood Race series, Resurgence, is officially out in the world. 


Word have always been my thing, but when it comes to how proud I am of Kate, there are none sufficient. I will always laugh when people try to tell me that blogging friends aren't "real" friends (whatever that means), and Kate is one of the biggest reasons for that. Over the last three and a half years of knowing her, she has never failed to be one of the most constant sources of wisdom and encouragement in my life. She speaks truth with grace, and makes you feel like you can take on the world.

But let's be honest, most of you already knew that, because most of you know Kate. And in knowing her, you know that she is one of the kindest, most talented souls that you can ever have the joy of encountering. So today, we're here to celebrate her, and this incredible trilogy that she's created. Kate, getting to see you bring this dream of yours to life, these books that you have poured your heart and soul into, has been such an honor. You are one of the most brilliant, empowering people, and I couldn't be more grateful that our paths crossed. Love you, love you, love you.

If you have yet to dive into The Blood Race series, close out of this post immediately and go get your hands on the first two books, because they are the most incredible journey. Then pop back here and celebrate with us! Resurgence might just be the best one yet.

In celebration, we're partying here on the blog today with my full review of Resurgence, an interview with the queen herself, K. A. Emmons, AND a giveaway!



It's always the most bittersweet feeling, seeing a series that you love come to an end. The characters become like old friends, and there's always that bit of anxiety, knowing their story is going to wrap up. I don't know about you, but I've read too many series that were going beautifully - until the final book, where everything crashed and burned before my eyes, ending in the worst way possible. Needless to say, you get a little nervous about series finales after that. 

Resurgence, on the other hand, could not have been a more perfect final book to the The Blood Race series. 

Words fall short when it comes to this one. I've always said that Kate reminds me of a modern C. S. Lewis, and the sentiment still stands, even more strongly than before. Her work has the most beautiful thread of allegory throughout that really just can't be described. You have to read it for yourself to truly understand, but wow, what a beautiful book. I was on the ARC team, and I devoured this book in one sitting over Labor Day weekend. My poor family didn't quite know what to think as I secluded myself out on the porch, unable to step away from the masterpiece that was Resurgence. 

The best way that I'm able to describe it is that this book somehow manages to shatter you into a million pieces and yet make you feel a little more whole. There are a thousand different themes woven throughout, which I love. Everyone who reads it is going to get something a little different out of it, but somehow exactly what you need. 

I loved seeing the characters each reach their resolution. Like I said - it's like following an old friend. These characters have my heart, and seeing their stories come to a close was so bittersweet. But oh, Kate wove them together so brilliantly. Over and over throughout the book, I found my jaw dropping.  The way that her brain works - I just can't fathom. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. 

Resurgence just might be my favorite book in the series. It's incredible in a thousand ways, and I just can't recommend it enough. It is pure art. Read it, please. I promise, you need this story. 

RATING - ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

photo again via Kate...isn't she the cutest?

My favorite part of blog tours is always getting to chat with the author and hear more about the heart behind the book. Kate, thank you so much for taking the time to dive deeper into Resurgence with me! 

How does it feel to be finishing The Blood Race series?

It feels great as well as surreal…I’ve spent so much time in this world and with these characters that it’s hard to believe it’s over...but then it never is over really, because it lives in my mind.

What has been your favorite part of writing this series, and what was your favorite part about writing this book specifically?

My favorite thing about writing the series is how much it’s taught me and how much I’ve grown as an individual while writing it. Each of the characters have taught me things about the world and myself, and for that I am forever grateful.

What is the biggest thing you want your readers to take away from The Blood Race series?

I hope they take away whatever they need to; whatever their soul needs. There’s a lot in the book, and everyone sees things differently. My hope is that the idea that we are powerful shines through strong, that there is so much more going on than we realize, but ultimately I hope each and every reader finds what they personally need in those pages.

Which book in the series was your favorite to write and why?

Worlds Beneath. That book changed my life.

What was the hardest part about this whole process for you?

Mostly just the business aspects of publishing a book - all the many little technical things that aren’t generally my forte. But! It’s been a lot to learn and in a good way.

Is there anything you would do differently with The Blood Race looking back on it all?

If I could do it all again, I would SLOW DOWN and SAVOR MORE. That’s the best advice for young writers in my opinion...slow down and savor it. No need to rush. 

What has been your favorite part of putting your books out into the world? What has it been like seeing people all over the world reading this story?

My favorite part is when I get an email or a message from someone saying that the book impacted them in a positive way. It’s humbling and such an honor to think that I could contribute something worthy. And oh man, it’s surreal at times...knowing my book is “out there” and that people I have never even met before are reading it. Wowza.

What is the biggest advice you would give to someone hoping to publish a book?

Keep writing. Believe in yourself. Believe in your story and write it YOUR OWN WAY. 

What do you have up your sleeve next? 

Oh, just a few surprises! ;)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run.

Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series.

The novel follows main character Ion, a troubled teen with unusual powers which he struggles to keep concealed. Through a series of strange occurrences, and a run-in with Hawk, the beautiful, mysterious, yet savage girl next door, Ion involuntarily stumbles headlong into an extra dimension—a secret reality that’s been hidden since the beginning of time; one that was made especially to protect and train teenagers with the abilities he possesses—”anomalies”. A secret place of intense training, hidden from humanity and created to defeat a rising darkness which a prophecy declares could swallow future earth.

Emmons lives in the often-snowy hills of rugged Vermont with her husband and dog named Rocket.




Have you snagged your copy of Resurgence yet?? What are you waiting for?! Already read it? Tell me what you thought in the comments! I'm dying for people to fangirl with. You don't want to miss this one - it is incredible.
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