Monday, May 20, 2013

The paragraph that started it all...

The strong force of the wave pulled me under.  I gasped for air just before my facedisappeared below the surface. My body rolled over and over, my arms flailed, and my head pounded into the sea bed which felt like a concrete floor. The salty water stung my eyes. I forced myself to keep them open, fearing I would slip into unconsciousness from the blow I took to the head. I knew I had to hold it together long enough for the swell to pull me back up when the wave rolled. But something was pulling me deeper. I fought with all my might, kicking against the thick water swallowing me whole. I used my arms like underwater oars and sliced through the depths trying to reach what I needed most, but I was in too deep.

In a little over two weeks my world will change and it all started with the paragraph above. On June 6th my debut romance novel, IN TOO DEEP will be available both in ebook formats as well as paperback. In essence, the quiet ramblings of my heart and soul will be flashed across Kindles and Nooks and iPhones of people I will never know. It's not like I didn't know this was part of the's just completely surreal!

The italicized paragraph above came to me, pardon the pun, like a flood. Truly!

On a particularly difficult day, when something triggered memories and the residual pain of an abusive relationship I had in college, I climbed onto my bed shaking and drenched with tears. Of course, I self-medicated but not how you might Music is my cure all and the louder the better. I blasted my favorite album and trusted stand by for the last 20 years - Pearl Jam Ten.

I was particularly entranced with the song DEEP that day and I heard it in a way I hadn't before. I couldn't count the number of times I'd listened to Pearl Jam sing about some people being "in too deep" but until that moment, I'd only sung the words at face value. This time my soul sang with my heart and it was at that moment I realized I was IN TOO DEEP. So, going on sheer inspiration from the chorus...."in too deep, can't touch the bottom," A description began to form in my mind of what it would be like to drown. It was not an intentional thing... it literally just flooded my brain. I ran to the closest piece of paper and started writing.

And the first paragraph of IN TOO DEEP was born. I continued writing it but at the time had no intention of sharing the fictional characters with anyone else.

In 17 days Gracie, Noah and Jake will come to life.

THAT, is completely surreal!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gracie's take on EMOTIONAL abuse...



Many of you will read my story over the next year and my biggest wish is that it shines a light on emotional abuse so you can see it for what it is. Whether you have lived my situation or not, I want you to "get it."

What I went through with Noah started off beautiful. I was floored that someone as hot and dangerous as Noah would even give me, mousy little innocent me, a second glance. And then he fell in love with me. Unbelievable. I loved the tough guy thing. He wasn't afraid to fight. He made me feel safe. I trusted him with my heart and my body. He had  me under his spell.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Little by little, and in a very stealth manner, Noah convinced me that I was nothing without him. It wasn't in what he said but through what he 'taught' me about how a relationship works. And, unless you have been in my situation, you can not begin to understand how subliminal those messages to my brain were. Abusers aren't stupid, they know exactly what they are doing.

The official definition of emotional abuse is this:

 Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching,” or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones (Engel, 1992, p. 10).

I have found that the people who assume I was weak and/or enjoyed 'playing the victim' have little to no experience with rock bottom self-esteem and that is AWESOME because it means they don't know the pain and sense of loss I do. I am thrilled for them but I plead with them not to make judgements about something they don't know first hand.

I was so naiive when I met Noah. I had only had one boyfriend before him and we never fought which led me to believe he wasn't passionate about our relationship. The control Noah had over me was disguised as passion. Many of us who consider ourselves strong individuals fall for men like Noah and many times we find ourselves IN TOO DEEP.

Being a victim of emotional abuse does NOT equal weakness but being a survivor DOES equal strength.

So, be careful who you call the end we proved our strength by surviving.

My hope is that those of you who feel like you are walking in my path will learn from my mistakes and get out before he swallows you whole. You CAN survive but you have to shake yourself free from the thoughts he's put in your head of what you are worth...


"Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living."
I want you be a survivor.

Gracie <3 p="">


Monday, May 6, 2013

In Too Deep VERY FIRST review


Something I will never EVER forget!

Shh Mom's Reading was the first to leave a GOODREADS review of IN TOO DEEP. My stomach is still entertaining a swarm of butterflies!

Go check out the VERY FIRST REVIEW OF IN TOO DEEP then add it to your "to read" shelf! Can't wait to hear what you think!

:) Peace.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

to pearl jam with love - THE BOOK


It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a PEARL JAM nut!

Well, I was approached a couple months ago by a Lori Tone who is creating a book called to pearl jam with love and she was hoping I would submit something for her review since she read that my novel, IN TOO DEEP that's coming out in June, was inspired by Pearl Jam's song DEEP.

I checked with my publisher to make sure I wasn't going against anything in my contract and they said GO FOR IT!

It was a labor of love to try to explain how personal this band is to me. I didn't want it to read like my 12 year old fan letters to Leif Garrett. I wanted with all my heart for Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Matt and Mike to really be moved by my experiences with them and how they brought me to where I am now. I know it sounds cliche but it's the truth. If it weren't for their inspiration I would never have written IN TOO DEEP.

to pearl jam with love is going to be FREAKING AMAZING!

I want to introduce you to the amazing woman behind this incredible Brain Child.

Here is a small blurb about Lori Tone:

My name is Lori Tone and I am a (10c) card-carrying Pearl Jam addict...and fan since 1991. I am also a professional, published Canadian writer, editor, photographer, and communications professional ... amongst other ambitions. My dedication to seeing this project to print and presented to the band (and fans!) is absolute. I am very lucky to have the support of my family and friends, as well as MANY of you, the Pearl Jam faithfull. I won't change direction and I won't change my mind.

About the book:

  to pearl jam with love is a unique collection of stories, love letters, thank-yous and artistic tributes to a band who has touched countless people around the world for more than two decades.

It is about the sharing of moving and inspirational stories and memories, each unique, but at the same time connected to the band and their music.

to pearl jam with love are the words and images that make these stories come alive. Stories from everyday fans, fellow musicians, collaborators, and those who have experienced first hand the generosity that seems to flow unending from this band.

Along with the captivating words, the book is about artwork, photos and other stunning tributes to the band by both the amateur and professional.

It is our chance, new fan or old, famous or not, to have our Pearl Jam story heard, our thanks given and to make sure the world knows just how amazing this band and these individuals truly are.

So,  if you have had an unforgettable Pearl Jam experience or have always thought, "If I ever met the band I would thank them for..." then you need to contact Lori through the book's website.
(Yes, I made that whole sentence a got your attention, didn't it?)

I am thrilled to be a part of this project and would love to be a fly on the wall as Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Matt and Mike sit down with a case of wine and read through all the stories of lives they have changed. It isn't an unknown fact what talent they have but it has been said by everyone who meets them that they are amazing humans and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

Lori's efforts in putting this book together will not go unappreciated by the band. This is our time, as fans, to give back and it's an amazing feeling to know this specific group of men will undoubtedly cherish to pearl jam with love.

I couldn't be more excited!