Uncategorized

WORST CASE by @BeckAndersonID #YoungAdult #Romance #Sale

Worst Case
by Beck Anderson
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Cover Designer: Caroline Tse
Release Date: January 16, 2018

This is a lovely story. Here’s my 5 star review.

Worst CaseWorst Case by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Face the Worst Case

Anxiety is weird. When we feel anxious, we try to avoid the thing that’s jacking up our sympathetic nervous system. Too bad avoidance often increases anxiety. The best strategy for reducing anxiety is to approach it head-on–ask a honey out on a date, deliver public speeches, drive to a friend’s over snowy roads–but who has the gumption to do that?

Vivi Lewis just might be the one.

Vivi is a 17 year old whose mother’s nervous system is on overdrive. Convinced the world is dangerous, her mother keeps uprooting her from town to town, running from her fears. Her mother even has the gall to move her to Idaho in the midst of Vivi’s senior year.

What an interesting setting for the story: Coeur d’Alene. I lived in eastern Washington for a year and still remember the breathtaking views of the lake and resort when I visited this northern Idaho town. But Vivi’s mother hasn’t moved her here for the view. It’s another ploy by her mother to avoid her crippling anxiety.

Thankfully a neighbor boy, Win, makes Vivi feel right at home from the get-go. He’s got his own secret worst case that has made him wise beyond his years.

Vivi has inherited her mother’s anxious brain, which includes worry and panic attacks but also the gifts of anxiety: kindness, intelligence, and keen observational skills, like:

The space thing, I’ve always been fascinated by it. Grown-ups take up a lot of space, most of them. Men. They spread out on bus seats. They take their half of the hallway out of the middle.

Win does this, but not in a man-spread, irritating way. In a “clear the way, here he comes” kind of way. He is noticed, and people move for him.

A path clears for Win. And here I am, riding in his wake. What an intoxicating feeling.

*nods* I agree with Vivi. On airplanes, I seek a seat next to a woman, not a man, because of this space thing. I’m not a small person and the women next to me might not be small either, but they don’t tend to “spread out” like men do. (PS I love men but I don’t want to be cramped on a long flight!)

Sounds like Vivi has had some therapy–too bad her mother is reluctant to see a therapist–and I like this metaphor:

It sucks, anxiety. I had a psychologist once who told me it’s best to try to think of anxiety like it’s the flu. When you have the flu, you don’t get owned by it. It doesn’t dominate you, it doesn’t define you. It’s just something you have, and you deal with it.

I enjoyed Vivi’s quirky humor, like when she tries paddle boarding:

Win’s out in the water, up to the waist, and when I put a toe in, it’s really, really cold.

“It feels hypothermic. Like Jack-and-Rose cold.”

…or when an annoying but lovable girlfriend makes a big deal of her kissing Win:

Phoebe jumps up and down.

Win breaks the kiss and pulls me into a hug. “Don’t move. If we’re still, maybe she’ll move on.”

“She’s not a tyrannosaurus rex. She can still see us,” I murmur. But I’d be happy to just stand here in his arms.

Vivi and Win keep alluding to the big talk they need to have, revealing their inner demons, and I think it takes a bit too long for them to share their secrets. The build-up makes their secrets seem anticlimactic, when upon reflection, family problems like these would challenge any teen.

Beck Anderson’s straightforward writing style and unique observations of the world continue to impress me. I’ll read anything she writes!

So, back to facing anxiety. When I have “what-if” questions, like “What if I don’t get my to-do list done?”, instead of trying to banish those thoughts from my mind, cognitive-behavioral therapy has taught me to go deep into the worst-case scenario and imagine coping with it. I ask myself three questions: 1) What’s the worst case scenario? 2) What’s the likelihood of that event? and 3) Even if that unlikely worst case scenario happens, could I handle it? Asking these questions convinces me that I won’t *die* if I fail to finish my to-do list.

Luckily for Vivi and Win, they help each other face their own worst cases, and it’s a worthy journey.

View all my reviews

Will she risk the fall and take a leap of faith?

Vivi Lewis just wants to stay in one place for more than a minute. It’s April of her senior year, for crying out loud, and here she is again, packed into a beat-up white Toyota with her anxiety-ridden single mom, fleeing the Washington coast. She hopes that this move—the one that’s taken them inland to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho—will finally be their true fresh start.

There’s little to indicate this time will be much different from all the others…until Vivi meets Win Kemper at the city bus stop before her first day of school. Win and Vivi are a perfect match—both self-defined weirdos. Vivi trusts Win, and their time together is a whirlwind of cliff-jumping and paddleboarding, a life immersed in nature that would have given her, and especially her mom, a panic attack in the past. Their instant spark becomes a rock-solid friendship, and might be even more, if Vivi can stick around long enough to experience it.

But having a reason to stay also raises the stakes. Running from their fears has never made Vivi and her mom safe enough before, and now everything she has to lose appears in sharp relief. Can she find the strength to separate herself from her mother? Will the burgeoning bond she and Win share be enough to get them beyond the last twenty-six days of senior year—even when the worst-case scenario comes to pass?

Beck Anderson believes in the power of perfectly imperfect women and in the healing power of love.

A two-time Rita© finalist, she’s the author of five novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. Her newest YA romance, Worst Case, releases 1/16/18.

Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two boys, loving one husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

Email:  contact@authorbeck.com

Uncategorized

New Release: Ex Factor by Elisa Dane

Ex Factor

by Elisa Dane

Release Date: 04/22/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl.

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it. But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died.

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.

Available from:

About the Author

I’m a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!

I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it’s my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

Author Links:

***GIVEAWAY***

1 ebook of Ex-Factor & $10 Amazon gift card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Uncategorized

Review: Sometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog lately. Those who are doing the A to Z Challenge really impress me!

Reading, writing, and my day job have filled my days so I wanted to share a review for an excellent mental health read: Sometimes Never

Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never, #1)Sometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Putting the Fun in Dysfunction

When I participated in the Mental Health Giveaway Hop, I asked for recommendations of favorite psychological reads. Blogger VanillaOrchid recommended this series, and I’m so glad she did! I hadn’t heard of this author but I plan on gobbling up the series based on my love for this first book. (Bookworm Brandee also recommended Reason to Breathe which I plan to review soon).

While Sometimes Never touches on sad issues like parent abandonment, parent death, sexual abuse, and self-injury, the characters address these issues in such a lighthearted manner that I often found myself cracking up. It’s rare that I love both the heroine and the hero as much as I fell for Hope and Mason.

Hope Love (yes, that’s really her name) is a high school foster kid who doesn’t believe in relationships or love (despite her last name). She’s a candy addict who plays drums for a band. She’s spunky and irreverent. Here she is typing away in an internet chat room:

ASL flashed on the computer screen. Age, sex, and location. I sat back and thought, Who do I want to be today? I never tell the truth. Seventeen, female, living in a house with seven other kids in Ohio. Like a fucked up, twenty-first century version of The Brady Bunch.
Usually when the first question has to do with your age and sex, it’s a horny, middle aged man looking to cyber. When I’m in a mood, like I was last night — sick of the world and all its bullshit — I like to put on my Fergus persona. Fergus is a fifteen year old boy, recently discovering his gay sexuality.


Priceless.

Mason is an eighteen-year-old who just moved to Hope’s town and of course he notices her right away. His dark hair and green eyes sound delicious, but what most attracted me is his personality. He also has a wonderful sense of humor:

Hope Love. What kind of name is that?
“I think I’m in love,” I say to my mom. And then I laugh because I hear some kind of pun in my statement. I play around with the words in my head. I Hope I can get in Love. I’d Love to have some Hope.
“Mason, don’t play with me,” Mom says, but I hear that little sliver of hope in her voice. Ha, I’d Love a little sliver of Hope. I could do this all day.


Hope and Mason seem to bring out the best in each other. They’re both sarcastic individuals who have been through tough times, but they actually feel happy in each other’s presence. Unfortunately, Hope is sort of dating the lead singer in her band (Park–love his name) and she has a dark secret that makes her feel unworthy of being happy. But Mason doesn’t scare away easily. Each time he unwittingly pushes Hope too hard, he gently apologizes until her panic settles down.

I like how Mason realizes he can’t “save” Hope, as much as he wants to. I love the quirky realness of the characters. The only aspects I didn’t love are the title and the reason Mason’s father died, which seemed a tad overdramatic to me.

I hear the next books in this series deal with side characters from this novel, and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for me next! I highly recommend this series.

View all my reviews

Uncategorized

Mental Health Giveaway Hop

Thanks to I Am A Reader and Reading in Twilight for hosting the Mental Health Giveaway Hop.


As a psychologist / author (or psycho author), I LOVE the idea of a hop combining two of my favorite things: mental health and books!

I like to write therapy scenes in all of my books, and often feature characters who are psychologists or characters who have mental health disorders (or psychologists WITH mental health disorders). 😉

What are your favorite stories featuring mental health issues? Here are mine, with links to my reviews:

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

I’m giving away two mentally healthy Jennifer Lane ebooks: With Good Behavior (The Conduct Series #1; romantic suspense only $.99) and Streamline (New Adult swimming military romance). To enter, complete the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hop over to these participating blogs to win stuff!

Uncategorized

Gender Differences in Mental Health

Today I have a guest post from Ken Myers. Take it away, Ken!

Different Mental Health Concerns in Men and Women
Aside from the obvious physical characteristics, men and women differ greatly. Their thought processes, preferences, and struggles can vary wildly. Yet there are also individual differences within each gender. Here are some gender differences in mental health:

1. Alcohol and Other Drugs – Men are more prone to substance abuse, according to researchers. Our culture socializes men to avoid emotional expression, and sometimes they turn to alcohol and other drugs to suppress emotion.

2. Depression – Women are more prone to bouts with depression. Whereas men tend to deal with stress through externalizing problems (substance abuse, aggression, “acting out” behaviors), women tend to deal with stress by internalizing problems (low self-worth, depression, anxiety).

3. Eating Disorders – Women comprise about 90% of the eating disorder population. However, numbers of men with eating disorders are growing, particularly with Binge Eating Disorder. The proposed diagnosis of Muscle Dysmorphia is also more common in men.


4. Psychiatric Medications – According to a study completed in 2000, women are more likely to use psychiatric medications compared to men. This finding could be linked to men having difficulty asking for help.

When dealing with a mental illness, taking into consideration the person’s gender can prevent a misdiagnosis and can facilitate individualized treatment. Men and women tend to deal with stress differently, and we have lots to learn about how gender affects mental health. What we do know is that men and women have trouble understanding each other!

Author Byline:
Ken Myers the editor in chief is a frequent contributor of http://www.gonannies.com/ Ken helps acquiring knowledge on the duties & responsibilities of nannies to society. You can reach him at kmyers.ceo@gmail.com.
And now it’s time for Omnific Publishing’s Blog Bounce. Join us here!