Happy Birthday, PLAY ON

After a hectic morning, I’m finally sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee, listening to thunder rumble and rain fall outside. And it’s finally hitting me that PLAY ON is—surprise!—out in the world for people to read. A week early. Because this little book has been anything but normal over the past couple of years. (Yes, its early arrival surprised me, too!)

I don’t want to turn this into a super-sappy post–even if I have been called sappier than a maple tree, but that’s not the point–but there’s a lot going through my mind right now that I’d like to share with you guys.

Right now, I’m thinking about the friends who become family.

I’m thinking about the nights when we just need someone to tell us “good night.”

I’m thinking about how sometimes, all we need is someone to ask, “Do you need to talk?”

I’m thinking about those who are affected by mental illness, whether or not they experience it themselves.

I’m thinking about the people who have their own corners to run to. Who hide behind their own locked doors.

I’m thinking about the people who feel broken. Scarred. Replaceable.

I’m thinking about those who are too scared to say that they can’t do life alone.

I’m thinking about those who fall, and who are desperate to believe that there’s something worth fighting for after that fall.

And I hope you know that there is.

There’s hope.

There’s happiness.

There’s laughter.

There’s light.

There’s love. There’s so much love. And I hope you know that you’re worthy of that love.

When I started PLAY ON, I knew that Marisa had depression—that was part of the story. But that’s just it: it’s only part of the story—part of her story. See, there’s life outside of an illness—yes, you can have depression, and yes, you can fall to rock bottom, but you can also thrive after that fall. I promise.

Your illness does not define you. Your setbacks do not define you. Every single breath is a victory, and you should be darn proud of those victories.

PLAY ON was a blast to write. It also taught me so, so much about myself. And for that, I will be forever grateful to this little book.

Play-On

Currently available for Kindle (paperback available through Amazon on April 21st) and Nook, and paperback is available for purchase through Barnes and Noble.

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Blurb for PLAY ON

Hi, you guys!

So. I got the okay to share some pretty amazing news that I’ve been sitting on. PLAY ON received a blurb from an author whose debut I absolutely adored, and I promise that I squealed when I was told she read my little ol’ book.

So thank you, Robin Constantine, from the bottom of this writer’s heart. Your incredibly kind words about PLAY ON meant the world to me! And if y’all haven’t read The Promise of Amazing, I highly suggest you change that. Like, now.

Go on.

No, really. I’ll wait.

“Baseball, family and breaking free from the confines of small town thinking — PLAY ON is a Southern charmer with a lot of heart.  Michelle Smith knocks it out of the park!” – Robin Constantine, author of The Promise of Amazing

 

PLAY ON Swag Giveaway

Hi, you guys!

So, I suppose that if I write books, I should actually talk about those books from time-to-time, yes? Especially when one book is releasing in less than 3 months! And what better way to start the convo than a giveaway?

Play-On

Let’s talk about PLAY ON, y’all.

I love words. I love the power they hold, the way they flow, the way just a few can hit us full-force and make us take notice. And in stories, I love the way a line or two can tell you so, so much about a character and what’s going through their head.

I love reminders of those words. I love pretty things. So I made this.

PO Quote 2 poster

What is that, you ask? It’s 1) an 11×17 poster print, and 2) one of my favorite quotes from PLAY ON. And it can be yours!

Want me to sign it? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY. You don’t want Sharpie messing up the pretty? That’s okay, too. Just let me know.

If you win, of course. Do you want to win? Keep on reading.

Here’s what you do. Head over to Twitter, where all you have to do is follow me (here!) and RT the giveaway tweet by midnight on February 1st, EST. I’ll pick one winner, you tell me whether or not you’d like your poster signed, and I’ll send it along with a signed bookplate, some bookmarks, AND a $10 Amazon gift card (which you could theoretically use to pre-order PLAY ON, but that’s entirely up to you).

In review:

Follow and RT for a chance to win an 11×17 quote print, a signed bookplate, a few bookmarks, and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Easy, right? Good luck! ❤

Editing to add: Giveaway is now closed! 

When Everything Falls Into Place

Back in July, I made the announcement that I’d signed with my fantastical agent for my YA Contemporary, PLAY ON. Today, I get to make another announcement.

PM Announcement

Not even gonna lie–I SCREAMED. That’s my name. That’s my book. And I’m so floored that it’s actually going to be a book book. SHC is the perfect home for PLAY ON. My little book will be in the hands of the fabulous Danielle Ellison, who not only loves the story, but gets it.

Most writers have a manuscript they lovingly refer to as the story of their heart. PLAY ON is mine. It took years to work up the guts to write this story. There are so many real-life experiences that went into this book–some bad (making it hard to write), many good (strangely making it even harder to write). When I finally opened up that terrifying blank document, the manuscript took barely a month to draft. Austin and Marisa’s story was ready to be told, and I’m thrilled that the world will be able to read it. 

Thank you so, so much to all the beta readers who put their time and effort into this manuscript (Nykki, Steve, Veronica, KK, and Cristina). To Kelsey, Megan, and Dahlia, for allowing me to pick your brains and for encouraging me to trust my gut. To Linnea, who lets me camp out in her inbox on the regular, deals with my author craziness, and tells me when my cheesy lines are TOO cheesy. I can’t forget my Book Bunnies and Revision Warriors, because they’re some awesome cheerleaders.

And thank you, thank you, thank you to my wonderful agent, who’s the best hand-holder/support system a writer could ask for. Also to Danielle, who sees this story not only for what it is, but for what it can (and will) be. To all the folks at SHC: I can’t wait to be part of your team. 🙂

Now, dear readers? It’s happy dance time.

And I think Luke Bryan deserves another appearance. Because it’s my blog and I do what I want.

He’s totally giving me a thumbs-up, right? Right.