“How We Fall” Cover Reveal


During my blog hiatus last year, I went to the Midwest Writers Workshop at Ball State.

The highlight of the workshop was being around people who got “it” and me. We were all at some point in our writing journey, and were supportive of and excited for each other.

One of those wonderful people was Kate Brauning. We attended the same Thursday intensive workshop. At some point during the day, she got the author running the workshop to pay her $1 for an answer. I wish I remembered her answer…or the question. I just remember the dollar and that, as he put the money on table in front of her, he told her that since she had made money off of her writing, she could claim the conference on her taxes.

I’m so glad I got to know her. She was warm and supportive and knowledgable…and now the book I heard her pitch is being published!

Kate also critiques and talks shop on Twitter (for where to find her online scroll down).

I’m excited to share with you the cover reveal for…

HOW WE FALL by Kate Brauning

YA contemporary
Publication date: 11/3/2014
Publisher: Merit Press, F+W Media Inc.
ISBN-13: 9781440581793
Hardcover, 304 pages

About the Book:

He kissed her on a dare. She told him to do it again.

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting—a bit too much—with her cousin, Marcus. She pushes away the inevitable consequences of their friendship until her best friend, Ellie, disappears, and the police suspect foul play. Just when she needs him most, Marcus falls for the new girl in town—forcing Jackie to give a name to the secret summer hours she’s spent with him. As she watches the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance start to break, Jackie has to face that she’s fallen in love at an impossible time with an impossible boy. And she can’t let Marcus, or Ellie, go.

The Reveal!




greenish-blue view of water from below the surface looking toward the light. A charm bracelet floats through the title as if falling to through the water

Sneak Peek Page:

Chapter One

Last year, Ellie used to hang out at the vegetable stand with Marcus and me on Saturdays. This year, her face fluttered on a piece of paper tacked to the park’s bulletin board. Most weeks, I tried to ignore her eyes looking back at me. But today, Marcus had set the table up at a different angle, and she watched me the entire morning.

The day that photo was taken, she’d worn her Beauty and the Beast earrings. The teapot and the teacup were too small to see well in the grainy, blown-up photo, but that’s what they were. She’d insisted sixteen wasn’t too old for Disney.

The crunch of tires on gravel sounded, and a Buick slowed to a stop in front of the stand. I rearranged the bags of green beans to have something to do. Talking to people I didn’t know, making pointless small talk, wasn’t my thing. My breathing always sped up and I never knew what to do with my hands. It had been okay before, but now—surely people could see it on me. One look, and they’d know. Chills prickled up my arms in spite of the warm sun.

Marcus lifted a new crate of cucumbers from the truck and set it down by the table, his biceps stretching the sleeves of his T-shirt. Barely paying attention to the girl who got out of the car, he watched me instead. And not the way most people watched someone; I had his full attention. All of him, tuned toward me. He winked, the tanned skin around his eyes crinkling when he smiled. I bit my cheek to keep from grinning.

The girl walked over to the stand and I quit smiling.

Marcus looked away from me, his gaze drifting toward the girl. Each step of her strappy heels made my stomach sink a little further. Marcus tilted his head.

He didn’t tilt it much, but I knew what it meant. He did that when he saw my tan line or I wore a short skirt. I narrowed my eyes.

“Hi,” she said. “I’d like a zucchini and four tomatoes.” Just like that. A zucchini and four tomatoes.

Marcus placed the tomatoes into a brown paper bag. “Are you from around here?”

Of course she wasn’t from around here. We’d know her if she were.

“We just moved. I’m Sylvia Young.” The breeze toyed with her blonde hair, tossing short wisps around her high cheekbones. Her smile seemed genuine and friendly. Of course. Pretty, friendly, and new to town, because disasters come in threes.

“Going to Manson High?” Marcus handed her the bags.

She nodded. “My dad’s teaching science.”

Finally, I said something. “Three bucks.”

“Hmm?” Sylvia turned from Marcus.

“Oh. Right.” She handed me the cash and looked over the radishes. “Are you here every day?” Her eyes strayed back to Marcus.

“Three times a week,” he said.

“I’ll see you in a day or two, then.” She waved.

I was pretty damn sure she wouldn’t be coming back for the radishes.

Pre-Order How We FallBooks-A-MillionBarnes & NoblePowell’s BooksIndieBoundBooks Inc., Joseph-Beth BooksellersBook DepositoryAmazon U.S.Amazon CanadaAmazon U.K.Amazon GermanyAmazon Japan.

Add How We Fall on Goodreads!

About the Author:

Kate's author's photoKate spent her childhood in rural Missouri raising Siberian huskies, running on gravel roads, and navigating life in a big family. Now living in Iowa, she is married to a videographer from the Dominican Republic, and still owns a husky. She loves bright colors, fall leaves, unusual people, and all kinds of music. Kate has written novels since she was a teen, but it wasn’t until she studied literature in college that she fell in love with young adult books. Kate now works in publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she’d want to read. Visit her online, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Time to Eat


One of the many things on the Don’t List of Writing is food. After you finish a first draft (especially a NaNowriMo draft), conventional wisdom says to go back and take out all scenes that include eating. That can be a very difficult task, but it’s smart. Most scenes with eating are there just to fill space. They are written when we’re not sure what else should happen. In Julia, I still have scenes with food, but that food really has to earn its keep: fried chicken and potato salad at a memorial service helps solidify the setting as in the south…and I don’t describe it paragraph after paragraph.

Recently, I received free copies of two YA fantasies. I read them this weekend (still trailing in my Goodreads Challenge, but I’m closing in) and I couldn’t help but noticed the amount of eating that happened. The first mention I could handle…after being in a coma for two days I’ll let you eat, but every couple of scenes they were back in the dining hall/grabbing coffee. Really? There is no other place where these characters could be having a conversation? Nothing else they could be doing…like something that showed me plot advancement rather than told me through conversation?

And it wasn’t just eating; there was a whole lot of cleaning going on. These female MCs took a lot of showers. Now, as a person who likes being clean, I appreciate their attention to hygiene. However, I don’t know why I have to know that they took a 10 minutes shower…or a 30 minute shower…or that she woke up and took a shower. I get it.

The other cleaning that pulled me from the story was of the more domestic variety. To be nice, when they were nervous, and when they were mad the female MCs all went on cleaning binges. Really? In college, I cleaned my dorm room to procrastinate writing my papers. But were those binges worth writing about? A brief paragraph to show my personality, maybe. Scene upon scene? No.

So, can I make an executive addition to the Don’t List of Writing? Cleaning in its many forms.

Reading List



I read a few YA (Endlessly, Seraphina), decided to try out something that was blipping on the pop culture radar (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), and then I felt the need to try something a little heavier on the lit culture radar (Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde). The version I’m reading has been updated to modern language, but it is still taking me a while. I have trouble reading poetry no matter what century vocabulary it’s in.

I love that the books I read range so wildly. I appreciate each of those book for something. As long as the story captures me, I want to read it.

The only downside (other than getting those weird looks when I admit to reading Chaucer for fun) is that I don’t amass a large reading list in the genre I’m writing in. It makes it harder for me to give examples of similar work in my query letter.

Thanks the to Pitch Polish, I think I have a much stronger query letter…at least when it comes to the pitch of Julia’s story. As far as the rest that you’re “supposed” to add — the audience, the comparison novels, the amazing author credentials — well, that could still use some help.

Do you find that you read in the same genre all the time? Or are you more sporadic?

Get Out Your Red Pens


As you know, I’m participating in the GUTGAA blog hop and pitch frenzy.

I was lucky enough to be Pitch Polish #81. And so the random Monday post! Huzzah! Head on over and check out my query letter…do your worst. Read a few of the other pitches while you’re there and lend your worthy two cents.

You’ll notice that I put the genre down as New Adult. I’ve wrung my hands on this blog before about going with women’s fiction over book club fiction over mainstream fiction over… I didn’t just throw a dart and land on a random words. New Adult is a niche so new that you can’t find it in books stores yet, but it does legitimately exist. The protagonists are in their 20s (check) and still figuring out life (check). Julia may not live here forever, but I thought it was certainly wroth a try.