The Long Road Home Release Date and Party

So I finally have a release date for this book. Even though it’s only been two months, it feels like forever, mostly because I’m super excited–and proud–of this book.

The Long Road Home will be release April 15th, 2016!

Along with that, April 15th-17th, I’m hosting an online release day weekend event on Facebook. There will be lots of authors and bloggers doing takeovers, with lots of giveaways! The event is public, so all you have to do is click here to join.

I look forward to seeing everyone there! I also have a cover reveal party here, so be sure to check it out to be one of the first to see the cover!

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New Book 2016: The Long Road Home

A few days ago on my Facebook page I announced that I would be writing a new book for Spring 2016. This new book is my next contemporary young adult novel, The Long Road Home. While there is no official synopsis yet, this is the one I have.

Brooke never meant to survive. She hoped that the suicide attempt would end all of her suffering. After years of rejection, pain, and heartbreak, she feels as though she’s not good enough for anyone. Now she’s stuck in a hospital, being forced to take antidepressants and is getting therapy for her issues.

And she hated it until she met him.

Now Brooke must remember the past in order to better her future, while trying to keep her feelings for the new patient in check. In this heartbreaking novel, a young girl will laugh, cry, and fight to find her way home to the one place she’s never really let anyone in–her own heart.

This book is going to be something different for me, but I am all about taking risks. My hope is that it reaches to many people who struggle with the same issues Brooke has and that it can shed some light for those who haven’t dealt with these issues before.

The Long Road Home is scheduled to release in February/March 2016. The book can now be marked as “to-read” on Goodreads as well!

Forbidden Darkness Cover Reveal, Why I Wrote the Book

Today I am very happy to share with you the official cover for my re-release, Forbidden Darkness!

Cover and description.
Cover and description.

I’m very excited to say that this book will be released to the world on June 5th, 2015.  This book is very important to me, as well as the series as a whole.

One thing I know I’m going to get asked is this:  Why did you choose to incorporate things like suicide, self-harm, and depression in a world that’s supposed to for entertainment?  The answer to that question is actually pretty simple.

I do not believe in censorship.  When I wrote my first novel, Before I Break and it made its debut in September of 2014 (which is also re-releasing this July), I was very concerned about the type of response it would get.  Many authors including my very favorite, Ellen Hopkins, get banned from schools and certain places because of the type of things their books cover.

Forbidden Darkness focuses on Heather Hawkins, who just recently almost lost her best friend Kristen to suicide.  The affect effect that it leaves on Heather is sad, because throughout the novel she worries that it’s going to happen again. Heather’s mom worries that Heather will turn out like Kristen.  Philip, who is now Heather’s love interest, plays a role in the things that happened to Kristen.  While Heather is the main protagonist of the book, what happened with Kristen was pretty damaging to everyone around her.

When Heather realizes she’s a Monster Hunter and is being stalked by a guy named Kadin in her dreams, she notices he can wield Darkness.  The idea of the Darkness came to me when I originally named the first book Negative Energy.  I won’t go too much into the story because I still want people to read it, but the Darkness is basically a physical form of all those negative emotions you feel.  And it’s entirely, 100% evil.

I look forward to being able to dig into other issues as this series goes along, and for you to see the true potential of Darkness.  Just like life, we all have a little Darkness inside us, and when everything is going on around us, we need to learn not to give in.  Never give into the Darkness, because it will take over your life in ways that you may never have imagined.

The hidden messages are thrown throughout the novel, and I hope now this will make it easier for people to catch them. Writing this series was a way of controlling my Darkness.  What will you do to control yours?

Forbidden Darkness wrap

Forbidden Darkness E-book Free

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to give you all the heads up that Forbidden Darkness is FREE one last time for a while.  If you don’t already know, The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles is about a girl named Heather Hawkins who finds out that she is a Monster Hunter.  If you’re interested, please go check it out and write a review!

Love you lots!

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Darkness-The-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00O99L782/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

5 Things I Learned While Writing Before I Break

Before I Break Finalxcf

I wish I could lie and say that writing Before I Break was an easy journey.  When I came up with the idea for the story, I knew it was going to be a difficult book to write, because I was going to be writing it from the point of view of someone I wouldn’t necessarily like in real life.  Here is a list of things I learned while writing my very first (and very challenging) published novel.

1.  Writing from a perspective of someone opposite from you.

If anything was challenging about this book, that would be it.  Not only was it hard for me to actually get inside Cyril’s head, it was difficult for me to get my fingers to type some of the things he would say, like “fag” or anything else that was hurtful.  I’ve had many experiences with straight guys that were not very pleasant, so when I told myself I was going to do this, I was looking at myself like I was crazy.

Am I really going to go through with this?  Can I even go through with this?  What if I use too many stereotypes?  What if he’s unlikable?  These are the things I worried about for MONTHS before I actually sat down to write.   I had an idea of where I was taking the ending, but the stuff in the middle…I had no idea.  I just knew that everything had to lead up to that ending–the ending that I didn’t really want to write but knew I needed to.  It was a hard book.  It really was.  I cried multiple times throughout the book, as well.  Some people think that makes me a baby, but a majority of people don’t know what I’ve gone through, so writing the book was not an easy task.  Writing from the perspective of the type of person who has told me to kill myself because no one wants me, or beat me up in school, or picked on my for being who I was…it was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done as a writer, and for it to be my first book, I am extremely proud.

2.  Not all straight guys are jerks.  

This sounds like an obvious statement, but like I said, I’ve had pretty bad experiences.  Most of the straight guys I met were assholes, there’s no doubt about that.  In school, almost all of my friends were girls because I just couldn’t deal with straight guys.  It was awful.  I had to hide any time I saw one.  There was always this fear that I had, and I think a lot of times, the friendships with straight guys that I had that did go wrong eventually…it was my fault.  Because there was always this internal fear that something would go wrong, so it did.  Always.

This book was an experience.  Sometimes, I learned, guys (and girls too) just do what they know.  A lot of them truly don’t know any better and haven’t had any room to think for themselves.  There is sometimes this conflict inside of them, and that’s what I tried to portray in Before I Break.  A lot of people said they thought Cyril was bipolar, but he isn’t.  He’s confused.  He’s really, really confused and can’t make up his mind.

But the point is, I learned that they’re not all the same, and I wanted to write a book for straight guys in need of some ideas.  I want to change perspectives.  To prevent the ending of Before I Break from happening to others, this book needs to be read.  And I’m not just saying that because I wrote it.

3.  Religion CAN be used for good.

This was something I kind of already knew, but didn’t know how it could be put into action.  In this book, you had two sides: Homosexuality as a sin and homosexuality as a norm.  So which is right?  You can already assume my answer, but I think it’s up to the reader to decide.

Cyril’s mom grows as a character, even if just a little, because she looks into what she believes.  Cyril looks into it.  Melissa already had her heart set right.  Avery was a gay Christian. Pastor Morrison and Jake were homophobes.  There were a lot of dynamics in the book, and life is a lot like that.  Who is right and who’s wrong?  Will we ever really have the answer to that?

4.  There are different types of love.

Obviously there’s a family love, a relationship love, and then a friend love.  But is there somewhere in the middle as well?  Cyril struggled in the book and wondered if there was a possibility he could be gay.  There’s no denying that Cyril loves Avery, but it’s not in the way that many people wanted it.  Heck, even I wanted he and Avery to get down and dirty a few times, but I knew that wasn’t Cyril.  Cyril is straight and always will be, but there was that connection he and Avery shared.  It was strong and I think a lot of friendships in real life can be like that.

5.  The writing industry is hard.

I wish I could say I’ve made millions off of this book, but I’m not.  Actually, most people aren’t even aware that this book exists, unfortunately, but I have gained some fans and amazing friends through the process.  More people are buying every day, but I’m still not making a lot of money. Actually, I’m hardly making a dime.

If you haven’t read it already, it is currently free for Kindle on Amazon.

But the process is worth it.  Writing it was worth it.  Seeing it come to life as a book in my hands with a beautiful cover was worth it.  I just hope the readers find it as worth it as I did.

Before I Break, Free e-book

I just wanted to let all of my followers on here know that my first novel, Before I Break, is available for free from 1/17/15-1/21/15.  The prequel short story that can be read either before or after the novel will be free from 1/18/15-1/22/15.

Capricious coverBefore I Break Finalxcf

They are both LGBT themed stories and I love them with everything I’ve got.  Please check them out whenever you get the chance, and if you like them, leave a review!  Before I Break was an Amazon Bestseller in LGBT Issues for teens just last month!  The description for each follows.

Capricious 

In this prequel to BEFORE I BREAK, Jake’s erratic behavior and mood swings are affecting him in ways he never thought possible, and soon the insanity starts that will drag him down forever.

Before I Break

When religiously raised Cyril Hayes begins his junior year at East Hill High School, every choice he makes suffers a greater consequence, and while facing challenges of friends, family, and love, learns that hate and intolerance are also a very large part of our world today.

Cyril Hayes is seemingly just like any other male his age. He has the perfect girlfriend, Melissa Summers, his best friend, Jake Rivers, and a lawyer father who brings home enough money to support his family and then some. When Cyril begins his junior year, he doesn’t expect his life to spiral out of control when he meets Avery Branson, the new kid in school who has a big secret: he’s gay.

At first, Cyril doesn’t handle this truth well, due to the way he was raised, but as the story progresses, he ventures deep into the reality of homosexuality and begins to accept Avery for who he is. Not everyone is happy with Cyril’s new friend, including Jake, who believes that homosexuality is a sin and is refusing to change his beliefs.

But Avery isn’t the only one at East Hill with secrets, and soon a tragedy will strike, knocking Cyril’s world completely off balance and leaving a scar on his heart that will change his view of humanity all together.

Here are the links to both books as well!

Capricious:  http://www.amazon.com/Capricious-Jakes-Story-Before-Prequel-ebook/dp/B00QQZ38CA/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1421545946&sr=1-2

Before I Break:  http://www.amazon.com/Before-Break-Alec-John-Belle-ebook/dp/B00O2HNN3S/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8