Hi and welcome! Today we're celebrating the fact that our own Carrie Beckort's newest book, SHATTERED ANGEL, is out in the world! Read on to see some SHATTERED ANGEL inspired jewelry and cupcakes, as well as an interview with Carrie. And last but not least, find out how to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Carrie's SHATTERED ANGEL cover is one of the best covers I've seen, and it made me want to try and find beautiful, unique ways to "wear" angel wings!
Interview by Kimberly G. Giarratano
1. The premise for Shattered Angel is harrowing. What inspired you to write Angel's story?
It was actually a dream that I had over a year ago. In my dream, a young woman was on the run and I knew that she was hiding from someone. She couldn't go to anyone for help, or he would find her. I could feel her fear, and the pain that she had been through. That's where I started, and the dream was compelling enough to keep me thinking about it. I wondered who she was, what had caused her so much pain, why she was hiding, and why she couldn't turn to anyone for help. Before I even knew her full story, I knew that she had been caught again and that was where my novel had to begin. Angel's story just formed on it's own from there. I had been binge watching Law and Order: SVU at the time, and I do think that somewhat influenced the direction of Angel's story. After I had started writing Shattered Angel, I began hearing more reports in the news about human trafficking and the abuse of children in the prostitution business. As difficult as this novel was for me to write, I knew I had to continue. I hope that the strength that Angel possesses, despite her horrific circumstances, can inspire others to be strong in their own life challenges.
2. What surprises you most about being an indie author?
Honestly, the thing that surprises me most is the simple fact that I am an author! This has been such an unexpected journey, and it's been hard for me to not feel like an impostor. It's only been recently that it's started sinking in - I'm starting to trust this author side of me that had been lying dormant until I turned 38. My goal is to work on my response when people ask me what I do. Currently, I stumble through an incoherent response about how I'm on leave from my company, but I also write books. It's my goal to be able to respond quickly, clearly, and concisely with, "I'm an author of fiction novels."
I'd say the other thing that surprises me most is how much I love the lack of control I have over my novels. As someone who has an undergraduate degree in engineering, this is quite a shocking realization. I'm normally very fond of control - in fact I'm kind of a control freak about most things. It's one of the reasons I went straight to self-publishing without even attempting the traditional path. So the fact that I love not having control over my characters and their story line is amazing. I mean, I've tried to take control. I've tried to change names. I've tried to force a timeline that I thought the story should have. I have debated over alternate endings. Yet, none of it ever works until I let go and just let the story out the way it wants to be told. It's not uncommon for my cat to hear me comment while writing, "Huh, I didn't know that was going to happen." or, "Ah, now it all makes sense."
3. You blog about Journey to Fit on your website. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I had always been active in my youth and into the early years after I graduated college. I even did a sprint triathlon in 2001. Despite my status as an athlete, I've always struggled with being able to maintain a healthy weight. It's something I have always had to constantly focus on and fight for. I'm the kind of person who can gain 5 lbs. just by watching a pizza commercial. Several years ago I went through a year of fertility treatments, and since then my body is just a mess of hormones that don't work properly. The result was a lot of weight gain on top of what I had been trying to lose before the treatments. Long story short (and if you want the long of it, you can go over and binge on my blog) in September of 2014 I joined my local Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping (FXB) location. It's a very intensive workout program, along with a strict nutrition plan. I knew it would be difficult for me, so I decided that the best way to keep myself motivated was to publicly announce that I had joined the program. I'm the kind of person who does better when I know people are watching me. It turned out that many people really connected to that post, and it prompted me to start the Journey to FIT series on my blog. My original intent was to just post a weekly summery during my first 10 week challenge. I wrote about my experience in the workouts, about my progress, and about the things I was feeling emotionally on my journey. However, when the 10 weeks ended people wanted to hear more and they encouraged me to keep writing. As a result, I spun off my Journey to FIT series into it's own blog - The 'No F-Bomb' Zone (where the F-Bomb stands for failure). I don't consider myself an expert in health and fitness - just someone who has a lot to say about my own journey!
Shattered Angel Cupcakes by Leandra Wallace
The colors that stand out to me on SA's cover are navy and pink. These are strawberry iced cupcakes with pink sugar sprinkles, on top a navy cloth (okay, it's totally one of my shirts, don't judge!). With wing toothpick favors, of course.
We would love it if you help spread the word about SHATTERED ANGEL. We have a tweet all ready to go for you, too! Just copy and paste, and the morning of March 5th, Carrie will randomly pick a winner (by way of the #shatteredangel hashtag). The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card!
An exciting new thriller #Shatteredangel by @carriebeckort releases today! Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RRWFK3G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_JKM8ub0PKPF8H #adultlit #amwriting
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Before I turned eight, my mother sold me. The man who bought me trained me for the life he expected me to live. For more than ten years I was held captive, beaten, tortured—shattered. There was one person who cared about me, and that gave me the strength to hold on to the small part of me that still existed. I finally escaped, only to learn that the hold of my past was stronger than the pull of my future.
Now he’s captured me again, and he’s given me a choice—life with him, or death.
I have 24 hours to decide.
Review of Shattered Angel by Kelly (KellyVision)
"This book is an absolutely harrowing, brutal experience. It's never gratuitous but bad things happen and we know about it. The early chapters, where we experience things from a young Angel's perspective, reminded me of Room. We are only told what Angel knows, and she doesn't know much. But since you'll be reading this from a grownup's perspective, you will understand things she doesn't. [...] This is an amazing book, but be prepared to cry several times. Highly recommended." ~Read the full review here.
Review of Shattered Angel by Charlotte Lynn (A Soccer Mom's Book Blog)
"Oh my gosh! If you are looking for a book that will pull you in, tug at your heart, and leaving you spinning when it is done this is exactly the book for you. I started this, not sure I could handle the idea of a child being sold at age eight, and was not able to put it down. While the storyline is not an easy read, Carrie Beckort told the story in a way that showed compassion and love. [...] I certainly recommend Shattered Angel." ~Read the full review here.
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Congrats to Carrie! And here's a big thank you to everyone who comments, tweets, and helps us celebrate Carrie's latest success!
~Across the Board