What I’ve been reading while stuck on the couch

As you might know if you follow me on social media, I broke my ankle 2 days before Christmas. I had to get surgery, and plates and screws, the works. THEN, I was hospitalized when the surgery gave me 2 blood clots in my leg. It’s been a long, painful, boring, miserable 46 days, but I am finally at the point where I feel a little better every day. In 4 weeks, I’ll get to start walking with the boot cast! By summer, I’ll be fully walking again.

In the meantime, I’ve been tearing down my TBR list like crazy. I’m reading eBooks, real books, and listening to audiobooks at night while I work on puzzles. It’s all in an effort to pass the time until I can do normal things again, like laundry. (My wheelchair doesn’t fit in the laundry room. I haven’t even driven my car since last year, ya’ll.) As boring as it gets being homebound and stuck on my butt all day, I am loving the fact that I have time to read.

Here are some of my favorite reads! Some are new, some are old, and all are fantastic.

ROAD TO EUGENICA

This book actually releases TODAY but I got an early copy a couple of weeks ago. It’s a sci-fi romance that I’m completely obsessed with. And the best part? It’s the first in a series. BRING ON MORE!

 

OUTLANDER

I am SO late to the Outlander game. Truth be told, I actually started reading this book probably about 7ish years ago during the down times at my old day job. I don’t think I got more than 100 pages in before I gave up because historical books aren’t really my thing…. then, as time went on, I saw it everywhere, saw people I admire raving about it, and then noticed that there was a TV show, too. I decided to pick it back up again. And WHOA. I’m in love! The books are scary huge and there’s several more of them, but I’m ready for the challenge.

JOYRIDE

This one was a random library book I chose based on the cover alone. I mean, how cute is that? It ended up being a heartwrenching tale of a girl’s struggles to get her parents back into the US, and the boy she meets along the way. There was a thrillery ending that I didn’t see coming, and I was hooked. Check out JOYRIDE if you haven’t already.

 

FIRE IN ICE

FIRE IN ICE is another first in series book (YAY!) from my author friend Jenn. She sent me an early copy of it and I was totally hooked from the first chapter. It’s got superheroes, (we know I love them), romance, and it’s set in a more contemporary setting, so even if you think you don’t like sci-fi type novels, check this one out. It’s SO GOOD!

Next on my reading list:

THE SHADOW AND BONE TRILOGY

This is another series that’s been out a while, and I’m totally late to this as well. I actually read SIX OF CROWS and its sequel, CROOKED KINGDOM last year and fell so utterly head over heels in love with those books, it was insane. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick up that gorgeous hardback with the black pages from the bookstore. I saw it a million times and never read it until recently. The Shadow and Bone trilogy was actually published before Six of Crows, but it’s set in the same universe. I’m so excited and scared to dive in, because the way Bardugo hooked me the first time was pretty brutal. I’m pretty sure these books will also wrap around me and make me obsessed. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, when you’re stuck on the couch for several more weeks!

Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments. I could use more recommendations!

You can now read Motocross Me on Wattpad

After not really knowing what it is for a few years, I’m finally diving into the fun of Wattpad! If you’re not aware, Wattpad is a website where people share their original stories chapter by chapter. People can read them and vote on the chapters and leave comments for the author. It’s a fun social way to read books and since my daughter is addicted to it, I’ve recently checked it out myself.

(As if I needed more books to read than my already HUGE stack of TBR books? *sigh*)

The best part about Wattpad is that it’s all FREE! And I’ve recently decided to upload all of my self published books on there as I transition my work into traditionally published books. My books will still be available at booksellers in ebook and paperback, should you want a real copy. As always, I would be THRILLED if you read any of my books and decide to leave a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both!)

Up first is my debut YA novel, Motocross Me. It’s a contemporary teen romance about a girl who moves to live with her dad on his dirt bike track for the summer, only to fall for two of the fastest dirt bike racers in the state.

Read it on Wattpad here: Motocross Me

 

Stay tuned for more books as I release them! As always, you can sign up for my 6 times a year newsletter to get links to all the fun bookish stuff in my world. (Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bO3qgb)

 

 

The TBR of Shame

I have a terrible confession to make.

There are 31 unread books on my bookshelf.

CheyanneYoungsTBRlistAugust

*whew* There, I said it. 31 books. (2 of them are 2 books in one, hence the photo of 29 actual books) All purchased with such excitement and high expectations, some of them on sale for so cheap I couldn’t help myself. ALL of them books I couldn’t wait to read. But we know how that goes. We get a book we want to read and then accidentally read another one instead, etc etc.

There is a bit of good news, and that is that every single eBook on my Kindle has been read. It’s the physical books that are giving me trouble. So, here’s the deal: I refuse to buy another book until I’ve read all of these.

I consider it my punishment for letting the stack get so high. My goal is to finish them all by the end of the year, and that shouldn’t be too hard. Until such time that I have read all of these books, any book I want to buy (*AHEM* Gemina *AHEM*) is going straight on the Amazon wish list until such time that I can be trusted to buy another book and read it right away. Feel free to follow me on Goodreads to see my progress.

I’m glad I got that off my chest. How many books are on your TBR list?

Finding the Cure by Cassandra Giovanni

Ellie Abela’s life has been anything but easy. Tragedy follows her where ever she goes, and she’s been a lot of places. At twenty she’s lived in over ten different states, all because of her dad’s career in medical research. His career is just another list of the causes of tragedies in El’s life. He’s dying, and with every breath he takes closer to Heaven, Ellie dies a little bit inside too.
At twelve she lost her mom in a drunk driving accident, and in a matter of months she fears she’ll lose the last person she has in the world to cancer.
While Ellie’s life has been rife with sadness, Trent Wentworth’s has been a challenge. A drug-addicted mom and a dead-beat dad meant at twenty three he was the adoptive father of his two year old sister. Now at twenty five he’s working his way up the corporate ladder and a struggling single parent.
Each is searching for a cure to the things in their lives dragging them down.
Not all cures are black and white; not all cures save us–and sometimes saving isn’t what we need. Sometimes we just need to realize how lucky we are to be alive, at least for this moment.


ONE
I wrapped my fingers around the steering wheel, and it squeaked with the pressure as my knuckles turned white. The sound echoed through the car as my grip continued to tighten. I used to wonder if it was harder to know you’re going to die, or just dying without the ability to say goodbye. The tears began to stream down my face as I sped down the highway. The guardrails were just silver blurs as I hammered the gas.
I shouldn’t have wondered it. My life was cruel punishment for the thought. The question should’ve been what’s harder, never getting to say goodbye or knowing that every breath could be goodbye?
My chin trembled as my eyes fell to the speedometer.
I was going too fast.
The highway was too straight; a never ending path in front of me that I wanted to drive on until I fell off the edge of the Earth.
I already had, hadn’t I?
My eyes lashes fluttered, the drops of tears weighing them down.
Never getting to say goodbye.
I knew that evil. God, did I know that evil. The look on Dad’s face as the phone slipped from his hands, the words forming at his lips never reaching my ears.
I read them.
I knew them.
The shock hit my body, and I desperately wanted to feel something–anything besides the rolling waves of pain. That numbness weighted down my limbs as the physical ache coursed through my veins. The anger and pain crushed down on me until my chest was so tight I couldn’t breath. Then I had Dad– he was always there, despite his own pain. His warmth overtook the shocking cold of loss. He broke the edges that hardened on my soul.
Knowing that every breath could be goodbye.
Now.
That was now.
I lifted my foot off the gas, letting the car slow until I pulled over and stopped. My head dipped between my shoulders as my chest heaved with a sob. I let my hands drop to my lap, red lines marking them where my skin had met too tightly with itself. The tears puddled in my palms.
I knew he was going to die. There was nothing that could stop it. I had to watch it. The pillar of strength when Mom died was withering into nothing in front of my eyes. The numbness that hit me when Mom died was a constant part of my life; it never left. I had just gotten better at hiding it. The chains around what was left of my heart tightened with each passing day. Each day meant there was one less breath. Who would save me now?
My eyes rose to the black sky above me.
There was no cure for Dad.
There was no cure for me.
TWO
I walked over to the door leading to his room and pushed it open. I wanted a distraction. I didn’t want to think about it. I heard Trent follow me, and I walked over to the guitars hung on the wall. I ran my fingers over the strings. I knew Trent was leaning against the door frame, watching me carefully.
“My dad used to play drums before he got sick,” I explained. “I used to want to learn how to play guitar…then we could have our own band.”
Trent walked forward, going to sit on his bed, and I turned to face him.
“He’s a scientist. He’s been trying to find the cure for different types of cancer for as long as I can remember…and I don’t mean little labs somewhere. Government labs…and all those tests…and chemicals–and whatever the fuck,” I replied, stopping as my body trembled. “He was handling–that’s what gave him it…the cancer. He was trying to find a cure,” my neck pushed forward as I fought back the tears. “And he…he basically killed himself.”
“There’s no cure?” Trent whispered.
I looked at the ceiling, dimly lit by the bedside lamp. “If there was, he would’ve found it.”
Trent stood and his face came into my vision as he looked down at me. He ran his hand up my back until it reached my head, tipping it back to a normal position. He put his forehead against mine, his hand cupping my cheek as his other stayed on my lower back.
“Not all cures are black and white–not all cures save us,” Trent whispered, and I felt my eyelashes heavy with tears.
“I’m dying too–every time I look at him and know that every breath he takes is closer to his last one.” I didn’t bother wiping away the silent tears now making their way down my face.
“It’s always been that way, El. We’re all going to die someday,” He crushed his eyes shut, shaking his head. “That sounded harsh. I didn’t–“
“You’re right.”
He opened his eyes, his chest rising with the deep inhale he took. “I do get it. I used to come home and wonder if I was going to find my mom dead.” His eyes drifted before coming back to mine. “But every time I didn’t–every time I came home and she was fine–I was thankful for it, even more so if she was straight.”
I laid my head on his chest, and his hands stayed on my lower back, his own head lowering into the crook of my shoulder. We stayed like that for a moment as my heart beat evened out, my eyes drifted to his bed and the rate picked up again. My chest tightened as I stared at the neat brown and tan checkered comforter, and then my eyes drifted to the time.
1:30 PM.
My eyes suddenly felt heavy, and my mouth formed a yawn.
Trent looked down at me, and his own eyes were heavy. “Tired?” he asked.
“Yeah, and I don’t feel like driving home.” I ignored the whooshing of blood through my ears as my face heated.
“I can take the couch,” Trent explained as he pulled away and pointed his thumb over his shoulder before going to his dresser and pulling out a pair of pajama bottoms and a plain black tee. “They might be big, but it should be more comfortable for you.”
I took them from him, my hand touching his and causing tingles to run up my spine. “You know, I don’t mind if…if you don’t take the couch.”
Trent’s eyebrow twitched as he looked at me, and I laughed.
“Come on, we’re both adults, and I’m sure you can keep your hands off of me if I’m hidden under all this,” I replied, holding up the clothing that undoubtedly would be baggy on me.
“Are you sure?” he asked, pulling his own pair of pajama pants out of the drawer.
“Positive, now turn the other way so I can get undressed,” I ordered, using my pointer finger to signal a circle.
He put his hands up. “Of course, but I think you’ll be the one peeking.”
I rolled my eyes as I turned, pulling my shirt off and replacing it with his. I paused as I heard the zipper of his pants go down. I pursed my lips as I gazed straight ahead as I unzipped mine and pulled them off. I cursed as I struggled to pull the tight bottom off. “Skinny jeans.”
“You okay?” Trent asked, his voice deep with amusement.
“Oh, shut up! If you had to wear jeans this tight you’d understand.”
I turned and flopped on his bed, putting my arms behind my head as I stared at his bare back. Between his shoulder blades was another tattoo, this one of a bird flying through the sun.
“You didn’t tell me about that one,” I commented, and he turned, putting his hands up.
“I didn’t know you wanted to know where all of them where,” he replied, smirking down at me as my jaw dropped.
There was another tattoo on the cap of his shoulder, this one a Japanese lotus in bright orange and pink. My eyes wondered to his chest, which was covered in a thin layer of hair I hadn’t expected. He scratched it, his neck turning red up to his ears.
“Sorry about the hairy chest. I can put a shirt on if it bothers you,” he said.
I sat up, pulling my knees to my chest as my eyes wandered again. I shook my head, putting my eyes back where they belonged, on his face. “If you have to put a shirt on it won’t be because of your hairy chest.”
His eyebrows twitched as he laughed. “You like it then?”
I tapped my hands on my knees as my eyes dropped to his slightly sculpted chest, down to his flat stomach and his hip bones. I lay back, pulling the pillow over my face. “Why couldn’t you put on a burlap sack?” I muttered into it.
I felt Trent’s body indent the bed next to me, and he lifted up the edge of the pillow, blinking at me.
“What was that?” he asked.
I rolled my eyes smacking him with the pillow before putting it back under my head and turning my back to him. Trent reached over me, flicking off the light switch, and wrapping his arm around me. I snuggled into him and closed my eyes.
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA

Connect with Cassandra on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.  Learn more about her and her novels at her website, www.cgiovanniauthor.com and read the first ten chapters of each of her published novels through her Book Catalog.
Flawed Perfection
In Between the Seasons (The Fall Series #1)
Love Exactly  
 Walking in the Shadows 

https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Digital autographs are freaking sweet.

If you use a Kindle to read ebooks, you should know about Authorgaph.com. It allows you to request a digital autograph that will be uploaded to your kindle books! HOW COOL IS THAT!!??

Here’s what my page looks like:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/NormalChey

I’ve already used it to request personalized autographs from my favorite indie authors. It’s a really cool way to connect with readers in a way that you couldn’t do before since ebooks are digital. In a way it’s even better than paperback book signings, because now authors can personalize an autograph to anyone, anywhere without the need for traveling or mailing books back and forth. YAY!

You can use the widget below to request an authorgraph from me, and check out https://www.authorgraph.com/ to find other authors as well.

https://www.authorgraph.com/widgets/author/NormalChey