Good morning and welcome to Day One of “THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!! This morning I’m excited to kick off the first of eleven “author spotlights” where I get the incredible pleasure of introducing to you nearly a dozen amazing authors who have graciously agreed to be “Takeover Authors” for the FINAL COUNTDOWN AUTHOR TAKEOVER PARTY ON JANUARY 18 FROM NOON TO 6:00 PM (CENTRAL TIME ZONE) on Facebook. This takeover party is the kickoff celebrating the next day’s release of my novel, The Edge of Nowhere. The first of these authors is Cara Sue Achterberg, the incredibly talented author of I’m Not Her, released by The Story Plant Publishing on August 4, 2015. Cara will be hosting the AUTHOR TAKEOVER PARTY from 12:30 to 1:00 PM CENTRAL STANDARD TIME on JANUARY 18th, and this is an author you definitely want to meet!
Before I launch into telling you about Cara’s background and the books she’s published, let me first explain why it’s such a HUGE thrill for me that Cara has agreed to join my Author Takeover Team.
When Cara’s book, I’m Not Her, was released back in August I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of it. I’d never heard of her before, but I follow a lot of authors and agents on Twitter and her book cover kept showing up on my feed. I finally read a synopsis, and I just had to have that book! Just so you’ll understand, check out the synopsis:
I’M NOT HER – SYNOPSIS
It was a Tuesday like any other. And then it wasn’t. A simple encounter at a supermarket changed Carin Fletcher’s and Leann Cane’s lives – literally. Suddenly Carin, a pretty, self-absorbed, underemployed young college graduate, finds her life switched with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, obese checkout clerk.
Both women are forced into lives opposite all they’ve ever known. Leann, at first thrilled to look and live like her favorite soap opera stars, discovers that the insecurities and desperation she’s grown up with don’t disappear because she looks like a model now. Fighting off the affections of a boyfriend she never chose and a controlling, plastic mother is hard enough, but she must fight off her own demons and figure out how to survive when her dreams come true.
Carin, suddenly fat, poor, meagerly employed, saddled with a kid, and married to a loser, must face her own – and the world’s – preconceived notions about life on the bottom rung. Carin spends her days avoiding the threats of Leann’s abusive husband, working two jobs to save money for her escape, and wrestling with her role as a mom to a precocious six-year-old. She is surprised to learn that life can be rich even while destitute. She is even more surprised when she falls for a stock boy who repairs juke boxes and drives a hearse in his spare time.
Both women are facing unknowable futures that neither could have imagined. Are they destined to live this way forever? And if so, where will it all lead?
Sounds amazing, right? So fast forward now to about a month ago. I’m sitting on Twitter when a see that I have a new “follower.” I click on the link to see the name Cara Sue Achterberg. Huh…the name was familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. A few minutes pass, I return the follow, then receive a direct message from Cara related to books and publishing. I take another look at the name and something tickles the back of my brain again, so this time I look closer at the profile. Wait…but…wait! No way! It’s her — The author of “I’m Not Her!” Holy buckets! I have her book! I do! It’s sitting not more than ten feet from me as I type this post!
Still, I’m not 100 percent sure its her, so I do some investigative sleuthing. In my oh-so-subtle way of “sleuthing,” I blurt out, “Are you the Cara Sue Achterberg — the woman who wrote I’m Not Her??”
Yes! She is! And more than that, she’s a really nice person!
Long story short, we direct-messaged for several minutes and, before I lost my nerve, I asked her to join my Author Takeover Team…and here we are today! So HUGE thanks to Cara for not blocking me as a stalker, and for joining my team!
Okay…enough fangirling…let me tell you about Cara, because y’all are really gonna love her!
From Cara’s Author Bio:
Cara Sue Achterberg is an author and blogger who lives on a hillside farm in south central, Pennsylvania with her family and an embarrassing number of animals.
She is the author of I’m Not Her, a national bestselling novel. When Carin, a beautiful, self-absorbed, entitled young adult, unintentionally swaps lives with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, morbidly obese check-out clerk, both women are forced into lives opposite all they’ve ever known. More than a case of trading places, I’m Not Her explores the question of whether appearances or circumstances make us who we are. It’s a surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the courses we are on.
Cara’s second novel, Girls Weekend, will be published this summer. It’s the story of three moms who go away for a weekend and decide to stay. It’s a fun, yet poignant story of how being a mother changes your perspective, your marriage, and your best intentions.
Cara has also written a guidebook for organic living. When Cara’s youngest child was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disorder almost ten years ago, she jumped full-steam into living an organic life, tossing out the junk food, tilling up half her property for gardens, and coming home with a flock of chicks. This led to many lessons learned and her long-running blog, Kid Friendly Organic Life. The blog grew into workshops and classes and eventually to her book titled, Live Intentionally: 65 Challenges for a Healthier, Happier Life.
Cara’s newest adventure has been fostering dogs for an all-breed rescue. If you’d like to know what it’s like to host several dozen dogs a year, read about her family’s fostering adventures her blog, Another Good Dog. The constant stream of dogs and puppies provides plenty of amusement and joy, but comes with a side of heartache, as saying good-bye is never easy.
Cara has great advice to impart to others authors — maybe the best advice of all: “You have NOTHING to lose.” Cara has these words scratched on faded green Post-It Notes above her desk, where they’re impossible to miss. Cara explains:
“When I finally started querying national magazines and pitching agents who were larger than life, instead of being happy with a by-line in the local free paper, my writing moved out of the rut it was stuck in. I had to reach further. And the only way to do that was to convince my insecure, careful core that I had nothing to lose. Rejection letters are a dime a dozen and you can’t take them personally, unless they inspire you to write more. As a writer, every time you send your writing out into the world, you’re putting yourself out there, exposing your great white underbelly. And you know what? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So do something EVERY DAY to move your writing forward. Send a query, post to a blog, enter a contest, write an email, ask a question, even simply tweet. It will all move you forward and YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE.”
Cara is truly a sweetheart, and I can’t wait for y’all to get to know her. So make sure to join us from 12:30 to 1:00 PM as Cara Sue Achterberg hosts THE FINAL COUNTDOWN AUTHOR TAKEOVER PARTY. During this event, Cara will be giving away one signed copy of either of her two books — winner’s choice! Your job is to show up between 12:30 and 1:00 PM CENTRAL STANDARD TIME on JANUARY 18th so that you know what you’ll have to do to win the copy!
In the meantime, catch up with Cara on one of her many social media links. She’s awesome!