HOLLY FREAKIN’ HUGHES Release Date!

HOLLY FREAKIN’ HUGHES Release Date!

So, I come bearing exciting news today!

My debut novel, Holly Freakin’ Hughes, will be available on AUGUST 1ST of this year. Pre-order link and cover reveal will be coming very soon, but for now, you’ll have to be happy with the release date.

I cannot wait for my baby to get to everybody who cares to read it. I cannot wait for everybody to fall in love with my characters the way I love them. I. CANNOT. WAIT.

The Truth Is…

In just a few days, I’ll be announcing the release date for my book. My debut novel. The story I’ve poured everything into. The project that has been swarming my brain for years.

The truth is, I am more proud of this than anything I’ve ever done.
The truth is, I am absolutely terrified of putting it out there.

It’s a scary thing…putting yourself out there. I’ve done it here. I’ve posted a short story, I’ve posted the first couple of chapters, I’ve posted excerpts and entries and reviews. I’ve done it, and I’ve received praise, and it’s been wonderful. But that’s been on a smaller scale. I haven’t SELF-PUBLISHED these things. I haven’t ASKED FOR MONEY for these things. I haven’t put myself into such a place of arrogance to say, “HEY, I deserve your hard-earned money – BUY MY BOOK,” with these things.

Sometimes I think, what makes me think I’m deserving of that? And then I think, this is my dream. Aren’t I entitled to try and achieve that dream? Aren’t I entitled…no… Don’t I owe it to these characters – these people I’ve created and love – to put them out there and allow others to fall in love with them as well?

The truth is, I am in love with them in a way that should be considered insane.
The truth is, I am so scared of others not loving them as much.

Reviews, guys. Reviews are scary. I mean, okay, on one hand… It doesn’t seem all that difficult to get a handful of five star reviews, because let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t have very high standards. This isn’t a criticism, because I’m in some ways similar. I will read whatever. I will enjoy whatever. I will sit and smile and tear up at whatever.

But when I hate something, I REALLY hate it. I cherish writing those particular reviews, because I imagine that it helps the author grow in a way that I would want someone to help ME grow. In some ways, I’m looking forward to these reviews. I’m looking forward to getting that handful of passionate people who will pull me and my characters apart, put us under a microscope, and tell me everything I could have done differently – everything I could have done BETTER.

But I also imagine that those reviews, too many of them, can hurt. Too many of them can ruin me. Too many of them can destroy the dream and keep me from reaching the places I want to reach.

The truth is, I’ve never wanted so badly.
The truth is, I’m scared shitless that I’ll never have it.

At Ben’s Door: Excerpt

As I’m sitting here, editing until my eyes bleed, I thought I would share with you all an excerpt. Enjoy!

 

Standing outside the door, I inhaled and exhaled slowly before knocking, making a conscious effort to clear my brain of anything but excitement for the night ahead. I told myself that Brandon didn’t want me, Brandon was only a friend, and with a final deep breath, I knocked.

As if he had been waiting right on the other side, the door flew open. There to greet me was Ben and three large tail-wagging Labrador Retrievers, two black and one yellow. The three beasts pushed past Ben, tripping up his legs as they rushed toward me; pushing against me with their huffing black noses and slobbering mouths.

One of them, the biggest of the black dogs, jumped up to rest his heavy paws against my chest. A thick tongue lapped out of his wide mouth to slurp over my face. My eyes squeezed shut through the sloppy assault, hovering somewhere between amusement and panic. After regaining his balance, Ben grabbed the dog by the collar and gently pulled him back to the ground.

“Jesus, Rocky, that’s not how we make friends,” Ben told the dog, crouching next to the excited animal, mushing his snout affectionately with his hands before standing to flash me a genuine grin.

“Hey, I’m sorry about that. We don’t get too many strangers around here. I hope you’re not afraid of dogs,” he said, apparently noticing the way I clutched my hands to my chest in an attempt to guard myself from the watering mouths of his hellhounds.

“O-oh, no, I, uh, I-I …” I closed my eyes, taking a deep controlled breath. I opened them again to Ben scratching the ears of the dog named Rocky, and I smiled then. “Let me try that again. No, I’m not afraid of dogs. I just wasn’t really expecting that to be the first kiss I got tonight, but you know, here we are.”

“Rocky just has a thing for the ladies, but here, let me make it up to you.” And before I knew what was happening, he was standing and snaking an arm around my waist. He pulled me into him to press his lips firmly against mine for all of a couple seconds before backing away with a dimpled grin. “Better?”

“Much,” I said with a relaxed smile.

Brandon who?

Another Piece to the Puzzle

I’m desperate to take a break from the final stages of editing, so here I go, writing a short-but-sweet entry.

Today, June 12th, marks my first official day as a Goodreads Author. Author. Author. 

Holy freakin’ Hell, there is something so deliciously official about that, isn’t there? I mean, look, I know that anybody can be a Goodreads Author if they’ve written anything that’s been published, self- or otherwise. But damn, that’s my profile with that icon attached to it. Mine! And soon, I’ll have a book to attach to it.

You can check out my Goodreads profile at the link below. No pressure or anything. I’m just pretty psyched.

https://www.goodreads.com/kelseykingsley

When Life Happened: A Book Review

When Life HappenedWhen Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a writer. I am a daydreamer. I spend a lot of time doing both, and soon I will have a published book to show for all of those tireless hours I’ve spent putting my daydreams down onto paper.

Because I am a writer and a dreamer, I am also in turn a reader. I read a lot. Perhaps not as much as I’d like, but I do what I can. I call it “research.” I call it a “learning experience.” I call it a lot of things but when it comes down to it, I just love the beauty of falling into another world and falling in love with the pictures and people in my head.

Because I read a lot, and because I am a writer, I occasionally come across a book that makes me wish that I was the one to write it. That I was the one to have the honor of plastering my name behind the book title, to call it my own. This doesn’t happen all that often, to be totally honest, but when it does, it is a magical fucking thing that leaves me with that ever-delicious “book hangover.”

I think about that book for hours on end, wishing I could suck that author’s talent into my own soul like a goddamn Dementor. These books, and the authors that write them, are my teachers, and the ones I’m most grateful for having found them.

This book is one of those.

To say that I am floored by this novel would be an understatement. To say that I am enthralled with this novel would also be an understatement. But I’m going to have to settle on that, because this book has left me grasping for words to describe just how much I am absolutely head over heels in love with it.

I mean, I am not an outwardly emotional person, okay? I am not a person who typically sheds tears over a book, or a person who gasps because a part in a book legitimately shocked the breath out of me. I am not the type of person who laughs out loud when reading a book. The most you’ll get out of me is a little chuckle, a little smile, but a double-over belly laugh? One that leaves me clutching my gut and gasping for air? No, my friends. Shit like that doesn’t happen to me, because I have control over myself. Too much control, even. But this book…

This book made me lose that control. I laughed – hard. I cried actual tears. I gasped. I clutched at my chest and verbally scolded the characters, and cheered them on. I fell in love with them the way I fall in love with my own, and I was unabashedly saddened to my core when it was over.

I cannot praise the writing ability of Jewel E. Ann enough. The pacing was absolute perfection. A longer book, yes, but I cannot recall a single moment that left me wishing it would speed up. Her talent of bringing these quirky characters to life was amazing. The sexual tension she was able to put down on the proverbial page was, in a word, startling. And…

Well, Christ, I really don’t know what else to say, other than…

In my psuedo-career as an author, if I can write one story that comes at all close to the emotional perfection that is this book, I will consider myself blessed. But until then, I urge anybody reading this review to READ. THIS. BOOK.

View all my reviews

Thanks For The Memories

So, I thought I’d share a little something with y’all.

When I was twelve, a lifetime ago, I was a huge Hanson fan. Like, HUGE. My room was quite literally wallpapered in their posters. My art projects in school were focused entirely around their blonde heads. My thoughts and dreams were encompassed by Isaac, Taylor, and Zac, as though I needed them to survive through those torturous years of hormonal hell.

I guess, in some ways, they did.

Anyway, I was told by, uh, pretty much everybody that it would fade. My love for them. That obsession. They said it would all disappear when I “grew up.” And, well, I guess in some ways, it did. My room is no longer wallpapered. My projects no longer possess any inkling that I ever dreamed of being married to any of them. My thoughts are no longer consumed by their blonde heads.

Like, at all. They’re not even blonde anymore, for crying out loud.

So, I guess they were right.

Yet… They, those “grown-up naysayers,” were also wrong. My love for them is still strong. I still flail my arms around when I hear a new song from them, and my heart still sings when I hear an oldie-but-a-goody. It never really stopped, not even when I ringed my eyes with the blackest of black eyeliners and my pants had chains hanging from them. Not even when the majority of my CD collection consisted of bands that screamed more than they sang.

I sort of look at it as though we all grew up together, you know? I sort of see them as these friends that I’ve never met face-to-face, but we’ve still attended parties together. Concerts. Stayed up for hours, swinging on a swing set and talking until the sun came up. Vacations. We’ve shared all of these things together, whether they know it or not, because they were always there, playing through a set of speakers or a pair of headphones, singing the soundtrack of my life.

Throughout every chapter, every twist and turn, they’ve been there, and this one is no different. As I turn the page to what I hope will be a very fulfilling career in the only thing that has ever made any sense to me, this song has been played on repeat. It is speaking to me in a way that could only make sense for this moment, this time in my life, and I will remember that forever.

So, to my homeboys who have never known my name or my face, thanks. You know, for not being a phase.

 

First Chapters of Holly Freakin’ Hughes REVEALED

With the release of Holly Freakin’ Hughes, my debut novel about finding happiness in your own crappy situation, rapidly approaching, I thought it was time to treat you all to a little somethin’ in the form of the FIRST. TWO. CHAPTERS. of Holly Freakin’ Hughes.

I’m pumped, guys. I am so freakin’ pumped for this to land into the hands, hearts, and Kindles of whoever is willing to give it a read. This book… This book is as close to being my baby as anything has come before (well, aside from my cats, but you know). This book has brought me happiness, tears, frustration, anxiety, and an overdose of pride. I hope that you will share in that with me, and enjoy this little sneak peak.

Stay tuned to this blog (you can even subscribe, if you haven’t already) for upcoming news about Holly Freakin’ Hughes, such as a…RELEASE DATE. (Oh, my God.)

To read the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of Holly Freakin’ Hughes, CLICK HERE.