Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Katherine Center is a wish come true...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Skylar Reeves
Introduction by Melissa Amster

Katherine Center is now three for three when it comes to writing incredible novels, and this is just based on the three I've read so far, including the newly published What You Wish For (reviewed here). I have Happiness for Beginners in my five-book pile and am excited to read it, as it has one of the characters from her latest novel.

Katherine is a ray of sunlight and gives off so much positive energy. She takes the time to connect with her readers, which I really appreciate. I messaged her about something in my life that was related to her latest novel and she sent such a nice reply. She also took the time to ask how my family and I were doing during the pandemic. Her personality shines through in her novels and if you haven't read any yet, I highly suggest you pick one up! Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have one copy of What You Wish For to give away. You can even color in the flowers on the title page. Today, Katherine is sharing a letter she would write to the version of herself from 10 years ago.

Katherine Center is the author of How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire—both instant New York Times bestsellers—as well as The Lost Husband (now a movie starring Josh Duhamel), and five other bittersweet comic novels. She writes laugh-and-cry books about how life knocks us down—and how we get back up. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Her books have made countless Best-Of lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019, Goodreads’ Best Books of the Year 2019, BookBub’s Best-Loved Books of 2019, the Indie Next Great Reads List, SheReads’ Best Women’s Fiction 2019, BookList’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction, and many, many more. Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her husband, two kids, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog. (Bio adapted from Katherine's website.)

Visit Katherine online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.

But she wasn’t always that way.

Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.

But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity,
What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

Letter to My Ten-Years-Ago Self
by Katherine Center

Oh, man. I would not want to be you right now.

You are exhausted, and sleep deprived, and chocolate-addicted, and this—2010—is the worst year of your career.

This is the year that your publisher dumps you, and that’s exactly what it feels like. A break-up. A divorce. An abandonment.

It’s that heart-wrenching. Only worse.

Your third novel comes out this year, and you will come very close to killing yourself as you run around like a crazy person doing everything you possibly can to promote it while also being a mama to two little ones and never, ever getting a full night’s sleep.

You will say yes to everything, write a million guest posts, and show up anywhere to find readers and get the word out.

But nothing you do is going to matter.

As the year goes along, a horrifying truth will come into focus: Your publisher gave up on you. They decided you weren’t going to make it after all, and they moved on.

That third novel is going to flop. And it’s going to hurt like hell.

In years to come, you’ll read about the psychology of loss. About how it’s a thousand times harder to have a thing and then lose it than to never have had it at all. Part of you will wish you’d never gotten that first book deal—never gotten your hopes up.

But another part of you will look forward instead of back.

That other part of you will refuse to get bitter—and decide to get better, instead. It will insist on hope. It will double-down on gratitude. You don’t lose everything in 2010. There’s still one book left to write in your contract. For one more book, at least, if nothing else, you get to do the thing you’ve dreamed of since you were twelve.

How lucky is that?

Don’t take it for granted. Don’t ruin it. Be grateful.

Here’s the truth: That decision, right there, at that dark moment when you really think your dream to be a writer just slipped through your fingers—that’s the choice that saves you.

You will write that next book, The Lost Husband, and it’ll become a sleeper hit. And then, many years later, a movie company will buy the rights to it and turn it into a feature film that comes out during a pandemic and somehow becomes the number one independent movie in America.

You’ll be an extra in that movie. You’ll meet Josh Duhamel. You’ll watch the trailer a thousand times in amazement.

You’ll also leave that publisher that gave up on you and find a new publisher that believes in you. You’ll write more books, which will become New York Times bestsellers, and you’ll slowly find the readers who love what you do.

Most important, you’ll be a better writer for it all—and a better person, too. Your struggles will lead you to your strengths.

This year forces you to decide who you are, and who you want to be, and why you even write at all. You’ll decide what really matters. You’ll make the choice—again—not to quit.
When “success” comes, eight years later, you won’t take one second of it for granted.

But you’ll also know that real success is internal. It’s doing what you love. It’s knowing who you are. And if you’re a writer . . . it’s trusting that writing stories is its own reward.

No question about it. This year will be agony. I can’t take that pain away, and I wouldn’t, even if I could.

So listen up: What matters most isn’t the pain—but your response to it.

This is the year you decide, once and for all, to write for joy. To write for love. To follow your own compass and write the stories that you, yourself, so desperately long to hear—and then use that healing magic to heal yourself.

This year’s going to knock you down so hard, you won’t think you can get back up.

Get back up, anyway.

And then write about it.

Thanks to Katherine for visiting with us and to St. Martin's Press for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends July 20th at midnight EST.


Linda May said...

I wish I had my Husband back in my life, I lost him over three years ago to Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. I would love to abolish Cancer from this world we live in. Thanks for your great generosity.

Padmini Rao said...

I wish to travel like I used to before the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

Karen B A good night's sleep!

Jennifer said...

A peaceful week away at a cottage!

Suburban prep said...

I would wish for good health for my family and myself.

Gretchen said...

A beach getaway!

traveler said...

A lake getaway with my husband.

Nancy P said...

More energy & peace.

Mary C said...

Visiting family.

Nancy said...

I wish that the pandemic was completely over forever and everyone in the world was healthy.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

diannekc said...

I wish for good health for my family and friends and an end to the pandemic.

Grandma Cootie said...

Relief from COVID for everyone

Mary Preston said...

A piece of cheesecake please.

Linda Kish said...

I wish my son would get his stimulus check and his IRS refund.

bn100 said...

no more virus

Elena Y. said...

For COVID pandemic to be over

Peggy Russo said...

I wish I could travel to see my kids. I haven't seen them since early February but I'm too afraid to fly right now and it would be a 2 day drive (not thrilled about staying in a hotel either.

Rita Wray said...

I wish for an end to the virus so we can all have our normal lives back.

A. B. said...

I have more than one wish right now. Hope that’s okay. I wish that someone very close to my heart had not died from COVID-19. (There are many more wishes related to this...) I wish that grief was not so fully devastating, all-consuming, and crushing. I wish that I wasn’t going through this entirely on my own. I wish that the email I received last night, from my cats’ veterinarian, gave some kind of explanation as to why my cat has been sick for four months, and that it did not essentially say that he is dying. This cat is my heart. I wish that I had ANY money, to afford any kind of medication for him. I wish that I could take his pain on, and have it to bear myself. I would do it without hesitation.

rubynreba said...

Not a very original answer, but I would also wish for a cure for COVID-19.

عوض نجاح said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belafromma said...

I wish everything returnes to normal the way it used to be before the pandemic,so we can get together with our family!

Tatum Rangel said...

I wish I had my dog, Mandy, back in my life. A year ago, in late June, she passed away from health complications. I did the best I could for her, though. I miss her all the time.