A Letter To Myself: The End Of A Chapter


Dear Cam,

I wanted to write you a letter because a lot is going on in your life right now and I wanted to  help you close this chapter. I want to write to you because one day, when everything is okay again, I want you to be able to look back and to see how far you’ve come.

So let’s start from the top. It’s over. Okay. It’s okay. You are okay. It’s hurting like crazy now. You want to cry.  It feels like a knife has been stabbed into your heart. It feels like that knife twists every time you move. Everything in you is shattering and I know it’s so damn hard. I know. But babe, you will be okay.

You survived 19 years and 6 months without him and you will continue to survive. You will continue to be the happy, cheerful person you have always been. You will continue to immerse yourself in life. You will continue to get every bit of life that you deserve and you will be okay.

He was not, and will never be, the sun.

Feeling wanted is a great feeling but look around you. Look at how many people circled you when it all went to hell. Look at how many people fiercely protected you even when it  was going good.

Look around and see how many people love you. Look around and see how wanted you are. My love, you don’t need the validation of a single boy to feel wanted. To feel important. I promise you that you are loved beyond measure.

You will find him one day and it will be magical. Just because it’s not right now does not mean it will never happen. You’ve got everything ahead of you. You’ve got someone so much better ahead of you. Someone who won’t do half the things he did to you. Someone who will look at you and who will actually see you. So hold on and be patient.

School is starting next week and I know you’re so excited but also so scared. Listen to me. You got all the subjects you wanted. God has blessed you with everything your heart desired this semester. I know it feels like you are going to be walking onto a battleground come Monday but I want you to hold your head up high okay?

I want you to walk into that lecture hall and I want you to sit exactly where you want to sit. If no one sits next to you for a whole semester again, who cares. It just means less distraction and a better chance for you to excel.

I know you don’t have a group for the projects yet and that is terrifying but you know what? Who cares. You will get a group and you will work with them and you will do well. You are smart. You work harder then anyone I know and you will do well. Screw what everyone else says or does. You keep doing your thing.

I have watched you grow so much over the last six months. Your internship turned you into a fearless warrior. Look at you. Look at what you have accomplished. What reason does anyone have to look down on you? What reason does anyone in the world have to believe that you are incapable?

Babe, you walked into an embalming room audaciously. Even though the first embalming sent you spiralling for over a month, you walked in there and you did it. What makes you think you can’t walk into a classroom with that same attitude? What makes you so much more afraid of a lecture hall? They are just people. Just people.

After all, school is school and life is life. And you have proven that you can excel in life just as much as you can in school.

I mean for goodness sake! Just would you look at yourself? Just look! You’ve come so far. Where’s the anxious girl who was constantly having anxiety attacks and crying herself to sleep? Where’s the girl who hid herself away all the time and used books as a way to turn invisible? Where’s the girl who was scared to talk to someone unfamiliar much less interview them? She’s gone and you’ve taken her place and I don’t know about you but I really prefer this version of you.

Two weeks ago, you made the decision to talk about something that you probably should not have talked about. Now I’m not an oracle and I can’t tell you what the consequences of telling will have or even if it was the right choice to make. But for now, stop worrying. You did what you thought was best at that time and there’s no taking it back. All you can do is trust that it will be handled the way it should be. Believe that it will be okay alright? You made a brave decision and now you will deal with the consequences because that is what you need to do. He trusted you and only you because of this. You have not betrayed him. You have saved him.

This week, your family came together in a way that you thought no longer possible. I am so happy that if only for a few days, you could experience a life that you really deserved. You never deserved what happened. What’s happening. You never did anything wrong even though I know you blame yourself. So I’m happy for you okay. Hold on to that feeling. Hold on to that scrap of normal because you will need it in the months to come.

They are there. Even though it seems like your family is slipping through your fingers. Even though you feel like you are drifting very far from them. They are there. They are here and they love you and when the storm clears, they will still be there. So just please hang on to that knowledge okay?

You have come so far and I’m so proud of you. No matter what happens from this point on, you will always have so much to be proud of. I love you very much and quite frankly that’s all that matters. Keep your chin up. You got this.

Lots of Love,

Review: The Girl Before By J.P. Delaney


In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.


Publishing Date: 24th January 2017

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for the past few months. My reading has dramatically reduced and admittedly, that’s been taking quite a toll on me.

So when I started this book and found myself flying through it, picking it up at every spare moment and constantly thinking about it, all I could think was that “Hey. I’m freaking back!”

This book pulled me out of a slump guys. It was that good.


In this book, we are introduced to two main narrators. We have Jane, who exists in the present, and we have  Emma, the woman who died tragically in the house that Jane now lives in.

We follow both these woman as they go through personal tragedies. However, the one thing that they have in common is One Folgate Street. A pristine house that was designed by the illustrious Edward Monkford.

Both woman, at one point in their lives, find themselves living in One Folgate Street and in a relationship with Edward.

So we follow Emma as she goes through her life up to the point that she dies mysteriously in One Folgate Street.

Simultaneously, we are also following Jane as she lives in One Folgate Street in the present day. Jane is trying to find out what exactly happened to Emma. So she visits all the people involved with Emma in that time and slowly works through the mystery that her death was.


This is going to be so hard to do without spoiling anything so bear with me.


Emma was a very interesting character from the very beginning. It’s quite fascinating because even though you’re in her head, you don’t start seeing any red flags till much later in the story.

I think in the end I just felt sorry for her. I mean Emma obviously had a lot of things that were out of her control. While that did not excuse anything that was done by her, I really think the people around her just failed her so badly.


Wow. What do I even say about Jane. At the end, all I wanted to do was to give her a standing ovation. She was brilliant. Scarily brilliant. Every decision just seemed to be haphazard but in the end, when everything solves itself with a big red bow, she comes out and topples every single thing you thought about her throughout the entire book. I mean seriously. I applaud her. She was something that’s for sure.


I thought this book was excellent. I mean it was paced supremely well, it built up very nicely and it didn’t turn Jane into a complete Nancy Drew which is one of my pet peeves when it comes to mystery books.

Probably my only complaint is that Emma and Jane’s voices sounded terribly similar and I had to check back to see who’s POV I was reading from many times because they literally sounded like the same person.

However considering how the story evolved, I can forgive her *wink wink* (God I wish I could spoil this)

I think it was just a story that was thought through very throughly. I mean I thought the mystery was pretty airtight and I only saw the ending when we were literally at the ending so either I’m clueless or this author is just brilliant.

I mean I would kill to know who the heck is behind J.P. Delaney. If you didn’t know, this book was written under a pseudonym. So really I am completely expecting someone dynamic behind this name because gosh. It was amazing.

One of the fun parts of this book is the fact that at the end of most of the chapters, the book will present you with a multiple choice question and a made up scenario created to test your heart and mind. In keeping with the fun, I thought I would answer the main question posed in this book myself:

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life:

  1.  My Kindle
  2.  The special pillow my mum gave me when I was born (and which I’ve slept with my whole life)
  3. My teddy bear
  4. My phone
  5. My laptop

*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by the publishers. All opinions are my own.*



Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland


John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.


Publication Date: 4th October 2016

Okay I have this thing where I tend to read the perfect books at the perfect time. I mentioned this after I read Dreamology but I somehow feel like I manage to always relate to certain characters and situations and I tend to read these things right when I’m going through the situation or when I’m dealing with a person.

Did that make sense? You still with me? Okay. Good.

Anyway, Henry and Grace’s love story kind of reminded me of something that I’m going through right now in the lightest sense possible. I mean most certainly I’m not in a secret relationship with a guy who has a tragic backstory but in a lot of ways, I feel very much like Henry and like the person I’m dealing with is a Grace.

I just really felt like this book was telling me something. It felt like a message in some way that I needed to hear to help me finally let go of this ‘Grace’ in my life.

Again, have I confused you? Yes? Okay I’m sorry. Let’s talk about the book.


This book follows Henry and Grace through their complicated love story. We have Grace. A girl with a tragic backstory and who is trying (and failing) to learn to love again.

Then, we have Henry. The boy who loves Grace with all his heart but is terrified because Grace is a very hard person to love and she constantly pulls away and in a way ridicules his efforts to show her how much he cares for her.

In an interesting twist, we have a guy who can somehow express his feelings properly, is a gentleman and who willingly and obviously cares too much. This of course is as opposed to the girl always having to be the one caring more and the one who ultimately gets more hurt.



I related so much to Henry mainly because of the above (albeit vague) life tidbit above. I think I just really understood him because he cared so much more then Grace did which is exactly what I do.

I always seem to be the one that cares more, that loves harder. I always seem to be the one ready to make sacrifices, to make excuses for unacceptable behaviour and I hate it.

I hate that I do this to myself. That I prioritise everyone above myself and I think somehow reading about a character that had a lot my own tendencies was a lot like stepping out of myself and just getting to see how this affects me as a person.

I guess it just made me feel really protective over Henry. Every time Grace did something to throw his love back in his face, I just loved Henry even more.

And while I did think that he could be sometimes quite pretentious (he talked too much about people being atoms), I think the fact that he was a writer kind of evened out the scale and made it okay.

Admittedly I don’t agree with every decision Henry made but it’s very hard to say that I didn’t like his character.


For exactly the reasons why I loved Henry, I’ll say that I hated Grace. Grace came into the story with a tragic backstory and she was a girl with a lot on her shoulders.

So naturally I thought, okay. I guess I’ll have to excuse her behaviour and I’ll have to be okay when she pushes Henry away because dude, the girl has been through so much.

However Grace very quickly crossed the line between behaviour that is acceptable for what happened to her to just plain old nasty.

I hated how she treated Henry. I mean if she was not ready for a relationship, why lead Henry on? Why force him to love you in private just because you’re not ready?

If you aren’t ready, end it before people get hurt. Don’t drag it out for your own ego.

I feel really strongly about Grace because, again, there’s that life tidbit above. So really Grace is pretty much exactly the person that I’m currently dealing with and reading about what she was doing just infuriated me because I’ve been in Henry’s shoes and I know how much it sucks to want something and to be led on and then to have the person basically take you on a ride and to give you mixed signals.


Overall I think I just had very mixed feelings about this book. I mean for starters, I don’t think that it should be compared to Rainbow Rowell. I mean I can see John Green’s typical pretentious teens in there but I see nothing of Rainbow Rowell except perhaps how honest they were about how unremarkable sex is.

Secondly, I was obviously just a little too emotionally invested in the characters and how they crossed the lines into my own life to be impartial.

Finally though, I will say this. The book was good and you probably won’t expect the ending. However I think that majority of the book was just a bit too infuriating and so it kind of dulled the ending in my opinion.

It’s a good book. Just that it takes a while to get there. It’s worth it though. The ending is worth sticking it out.

*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by Pansing. All opinions are my own*



Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


It’s Banned Books week around the world! Banned Books week, if you didn’t know, is a week long celebration of the freedom to write and publish. Readers around the world take a stand against censorship by reading books that are banned from libraries or even countries to tell people that we have the right to information.

So this week, I decided to read Thirteen Reasons Why. A book that was banned because it is a book about suicide.

Now I really have no idea why it was banned. If anything, people should be putting this book front and center so that more people can learn about the signs and so that they can learn how to help someone who is trying to throw up a red flare.

But it was banned and so today, I’m going to tell you exactly why this book was so awesome and why I think it should not have been banned.


This book centers around Hannah. A girl who has recently committed suicide.

However, instead of a suicide note, she tapes a series of tapes that document exactly why she decided to commit suicide and she posts them to the different people who she feels are the most responsible for her death with the instructions to pass them on to the next person on the list.

In this book, we follow one of the people on the list, Clay Jenson, as he receives the tapes, listens to them and tracks Hannah’s story up till her death.



Clay was quite interesting because I felt like he was quite an innocent party in the whole thing. Admittedly I did get annoyed at how caught up he got in not wanting to be wrong but I can forgive him under the circumstances.

He was interesting. That’s really all I have to say about him. He was decidedly unremarkable.


Okay Hannah. I don’t know how to talk about her character. I mean I understood her. I understood that the actions of other people led her to feel isolated and wronged and like she was backed into a corner. But what I didn’t understand is how she could feel that telling these people how they basically have blood on their hands is justified especially after she killed herself.

I mean if she had recorded these tapes with the intent to put some people behind bars like they deserved to be, I would get it. But tapes recorded for the sole purpose of tormenting people and maybe even ruining their lives because they now feel responsible? I don’t get it.

Okay. I know what you’re thinking at this point. “But Cam, these people tormented Hannah to the point that she took her life. They deserve it.” And that’s where I’ll say, dear reader, that you are right. However, as the popular saying goes, ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right.’

So yes, I liked Hannah’s character. But I couldn’t support her decision to record those tapes in the first place. She’s dead. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. You want to make a tape? Make one before you kill yourself so these people can have a chance to change their ways and to give you the help you need.

Maybe it’s because I’m the type of person that just accepts things and deals with them because they are life. Maybe because I have been through so much crap but I have never wanted one single person to feel responsible (even if they clearly are responsible). Maybe that’s why I can’t understand her decision to want to blame every single person including Clay who did nothing really except try to be a friend to her. Or maybe I’m the one being short-sighted.

I don’t know but I couldn’t take the blame game she decided to play.


So yes. I admittedly didn’t enjoy the blame game. I didn’t enjoy the fact that Hannah painted herself as a victim when suicide was something that was her decision. I hated the fact that she put such a load on people who were innocent in the whole thing.

But that said, I did enjoy what the story stood for. I liked that we went away with the knowledge that it’s so important to remember that how we treat someone will snowball. It’s important because this book showed us what the red flags for a suicidal person is.

So while the execution kind of sucked, I think the message was clear and that’s really what salvaged the book in the end and the reason why I’m giving it such a high rating.



Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyers (Spoiler-Free)

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


Publishing Date: 8th November 2016

*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by Pansing. However, all opinions are my own*

Even though I have yet to finish the Lunar Chronicles, I have always thought that Marissa Meyer was a great storyteller. I love how she takes popular fairytales and weaves them into something that is very clearly hers.

So when Pansing reached out and offered to send me this book to read and review, I literally fell over myself to grab it. I started reading it the day it arrived and guys…

Oh. My. God.

This book was everything!!

It broke my little heart into many pieces and it was just amazing and epic and heartbreaking and EVERYTHING!


This book is based on Alice In Wonderland but Marissa spins it such that the story focuses on the Queen Of Hearts before she became the tyrant queen that she did.

We follow Catherine, a young girl who loves life, her friends and baking. Catherine is a lady of high regard in Hearts and because of her status, her parents have been trying to marry her off to the king.

Catherine, however, wants nothing more then a simple life. She wants to open a bakery with her maid, marry for love and to spend her days elbow deep in flour.

Then one day, Catherine meets Jest. Jest is the new court joker and he introduces her to a whole different side of Hearts. He brings her to eccentric tea parties, sneaks her around and shows her a kind of love that she has never experienced before.

The only problem is that her parents really, really want her to marry the king.

Surrounding this tragic Romeo and Juliet love story lies a whole story about cursed pumpkin seeds, Jabberwocks and trickery beyond anything that you would ever expect.




Cath was just one of those characters that you will root for from start to finish. No matter what she did, good, bad, utterly horrific, I couldn’t help but just want the very best for her.

Over the course of the book, I found myself wondering at many points, how this sweet kid became the horrific Queen of Hearts that we know and (kinda) love.

However I felt that her character just really grew with the book. And I mean that is something you don’t see very often in books. A character growing with the book. So I really loved Cath despite some of the questionable choices she made.

Not to mention that the book completely let’s you know how sweet little Cath turned into a tyrant.


Jest. Oh my Jest. Guys I can’t even begin to explain what an amazing character Jest was from start to finish. He was the perfect Romeo to Cath’s Juliet. He was just so perfect. I mean okay yes there were a couple of bits that made me go, “Really Jest? Really”. But overall he was just amazing.

He had amazing chemistry with Cath and even with every other character in the book. He was such a gentleman *swoon* and he was just perfect.


I loved every bit of his character.



You know, in the original story, Hatter is my favourite character. In fact, one of my favourite quotes in the world is partly by him.

Mad Matter: “Have I gone mad?”
Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

So I have to say that it was very interesting to get to explore his character and to find out where he came from, how he came to be and to watch him slowly dissolve into the mad state that we see him in later on.

Personally, I didn’t appreciate the sane Hatter as much as I did the mad one. I guess it was easier to excuse Hatter’s antics when he was mad. When he was sane, everything he did was just infuriating and rather daft if you ask me.


Overall I really loved the book. I found the storyline to be epic, the characters to be dynamic and the plot to be just perfect.

Everything was done in a way that made it all believable. I mean you go through the book thinking, “How on earth does all this make sense? It doesn’t fit into Alice in Wonderland.” And then suddenly, at the end, everything wraps up with a neat little bow and all the pieces fall into place and you’re just left there like, “WOAH.”

Okay I’ll stop hyping this book but I’ll leave you with this. You’ll be absolutely mad to not read this book.



The Art of Book Cover Creation By Kristin Bartley Lenz

Hey guys! Today I have something a little different for you. The author of The Art Of Holding On And Letting Go, Kristin Bartley Lenz is here today to talk about how book covers are designed and created! I’m sure you guys will love learning about how your favourite covers have come about just as much as I enjoyed it. So here’s Kristin!

As a reader who is also a writer, I tend to be as interested in the summary, blurbs, and reviews as much as a book’s cover. But I’ve watched my daughter scan the shelves of bookstores and libraries choosing and rejecting books by their covers alone. Social media has opened up new avenues for publishers to tailor their cover designs, such as Swoon Reads/Macmilllan, which asks readers to vote for their favorite of several cover directions for their debuts. https://www.swoonreads.com/blog/category/cover-creation/
It wasn’t until my own novel entered the publishing process that I truly saw the behind-the-scenes making of a book cover. I was fortunate to be involved in many of the cover decisions, including choosing from four initial cover concepts, all very different.

Here’s what my cover designer, Amanda Schwarz, shared about her initial process with my book:

“When designing a book cover I search for a way to visually represent the emotion of the novel while not outright telling the audience what it’s about. After reading the book I realized that the heart of the story is the lead character coming to terms with where her life has taken her and accepting change. In particular the Annie Dillard quote at the end of the novel struck me, “Mountains are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back as some creeks will. The creeks are the world with all its stimulus and beauty; I live there. But mountains are home.” To me, this sums up the feelings of the book. Cara, by the end, comes to realize that no matter where she is in her life, the mountains, along with Uncle Max, will always be a part of her. They are inside of her and a life that she can return to one day.

So while not referencing climbing directly, I felt having mountains represented in the covers somewhere is very important as Cara comes to hold on to the important aspects of her previous life, but also learns to let go of others as she grows in the story. It captures the tone but there is also the mystery of what exactly the mountains represent to the story.

While working on the preliminary designs I also decided to use handwritten or script text for the covers. Since we spend the entirety of the book seeing the events from Cara’s perspective, anything that isn’t handwritten felt too impersonal for a very personal story. I chose fonts that have similar characteristics but also contrast to emphasize the emotions of the title especially “Holding On and Letting Go.”


More layers were added after the initial direction was determined – the images of the mountains, trees, the cityscape, and starry night sky. Later, there were more choices with colors and fonts, and the back cover design as well. Mysterious notes play a role in Cara’s story, so the back cover blurbs are featured on a sheet of wrinkled paper to correspond with this aspect of the plot. If you look closely, you’ll also see the mountains on the back cover carrying over from the front.

I was delighted by other little details right through to the finished design. There’s a small image of a carabiner on the book’s spine, and the inside of the front cover is green to match the trees on the front.

Now that my eyes have been opened to the possibilities, I look at book covers with a new appreciation and notice details I previously overlooked. Even more fun, my publisher is tweaking the cover of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go for a second printing, and this time we get to include a shiny gold sticker thanks to the Junior Library Guild!


Want to learn more about the art of book covers? By the Cover is an ongoing feature at Book Riot, and Publishers Weekly has a new column devoted to book covers.

How To Love The Broken Girl

It’s difficult to love someone who has been broken by life. Someone who has never known love. Someone who has spent her whole life believing that she is a second choice. Someone who has had everything they could ever know about love ripped to shreds in front of her. Someone who has had the people that were supposed to be her role model in love shatter her every belief about it.
She’s sworn that her past would never affect her future but the thing is, as much as she will try to deny it and brush it off, she can never run away from the scars that other people left tattooed on her heart.

It’s difficult because you need to work to convince her that she is worth enough that someone would actually stay. You need to make sure that she knows that you aren’t going to jump off the wagon the second something goes wrong.

Because you see, all she has ever known if that when voices are raised, people leave. People start to hate. Everything goes wrong. You need to let her get upset and when it’s over, you need to make damn well sure that she knows that you are still right there on the wagon with her. It’s not her fault that she has grown up with people who fought wrongly. Who constantly remained in a toxic places.

When you love someone who is broken, you have to know that she will do one of two things. She will either immediately retreat the second a red flag presents itself or she will allow herself to brush it off. She will excuse your behaviour or worse, she will blame herself. So you can’t take advantage of her. Not ever.

When you love someone who is broken, you need to know that she will overthink your every move much more then any girl normally would. She will look for red flags and actually find them even when there are none to be found. You need to be prepared to work extra hard to convince her that she was right to let you in and that you will not shatter her.

Because you see, someone who is broken will constantly walk on eggshells. They will constantly second guess their decisions. They will constantly want to throw in the towel and cower under a blanket. They will go through rocky tides of being extremely happy and extremely upset with the relationship.

But when you love someone who is broken in the right way that you should, you have to know that she will love you back with every atom in her being. You have to know that she will fiercely and proudly call you hers. She will place you on a pedestal and she will love you.

So if you plan to love this broken girl, make sure you do it right and make sure that you have no plans to leave her. Because once she’s in, she’s in it for the long run and you better be ready to run alongside her.


Five Relationship Killers Only You Can Control


Hey guys! Today I’ve got something a little special for you. Maria Benson, one of the authors of ‘Driving Me Wild’ is here today to give us some advice about relationships and what we can do to avoid basically killing them.  – Cam

Nearly every person in the dating game has had a relationship fall apart without having a clue where it all started going wrong. Being creatures of habit who fail to identify our role in the faulty foundation of our relationships, we often repeat the behaviors that doomed us in the first place.

See how to rid your life of these common mistakes:

1) Giving 90%, Getting 10


Find yourself constantly dropping everything at a moment’s notice for your latest suitor? Answering the phone at 2am for a booty call? Do you text him throughout the day, only to get a “Out w my friends. Come if u want.” response 6 hours later? Do you respond to “Mystery Man” by re-arranging everything to be at his side? If so, we have a problem. While it’s important to be dedicated and available to your partner, you must also expect them to meet you in the middle. Anything less is an early marker of future catastrophe.

2) Trying to fix the other person


We have all heard the saying, “you can’t control anyone except yourself.” So, why do we keep trying to control, mold, and shape other people? Look, I’m a believer in the human capacity for positive change. However, nearly a decade as a licensed mental health counselor has show me that if the desire to change does not come from within the individual (notice that I did not say from a girlfriend with great intentions and a beautiful vision for their future together), lasting change ain’t gonna happen.

3) Distancing yourself from family and friends


We’ve all experienced the captivating desire and obsession that come with the initial stages of love. These stages are beautiful and often form the foundation for long-term relationships. However, too often we let our new love influence us to neglect friends and family who have offered us support, feedback, and reflection for years. They know us better than anyone else. If your partner doesn’t mesh with your closest friends and family, realize there’s a chance they will fail to mesh with you down the line.

4) Avoiding conflict so they will “like” you


I’m the first to admit that conflict is scary in a new relationship. If you dare to speak your mind about his dog using your laundry pile as an outhouse, or about his snide remarks about your sister, will he still like you? As you try to decide what to do in situations like these, remember: Healthy conflict is healthy. Let’s say it again: HEALTHY CONFLICT IS HEALTHY. This means that you each have to learn to disagree and speak your minds in a way that feels safe for both of you. Unaddressed issues always lead to resentment.

5) Ignoring your non-negotiables


Every person should have a list of non-negotiables that they want in their partner. If you don’t have this list- I mean an actual, physical list- you need to make one ASAP! These are items that, at your core, you must have or avoid in a future partner. They can be concrete qualities, personality characteristics, or both. Personally, my list included a partner with ambition and compassion for others, someone who wouldn’t be vindictive when arguing, and who had no history of violence. In my experience, deviating from these standards has only led to heartache.

The experiences of Aimee Chase, the protagonist of my new novel Driving Me Wild, are hopefully a humorous reminder that eliminating these “killers” from our behavior patterns doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and give it time. In addition to my own work, I recommend you check out Anxious To Please by James Rapson and Craig English as you develop the confidence needed to foster healthy relationship behaviors – before and after you find Mr. Right.

Maria Benson, co-author of the novel Driving Me Wild, is a licensed mental health and addictions therapist in Indianapolis. Maria’s drive for adventure and her dedication to helping women find their identity and voice in the face of adversity motivate her professional pursuits and her writing. Learn more at authormariabenson.com.


If This Is What Love Is


If this is what love is, I both want no part in it but I also want it all.
I don’t know how to tell you how afraid I am of letting you in.
I don’t know how to tell you that I’m already in too deep.

I don’t know how to tell you that I’m scared
and I know you’re scared too but I need you to not be scared.
For my sake I need you to be less scared then I am.

I keep expecting you to leave.
I keep telling myself that if I drop the conversation, you’ll never text me again.
I keep thinking that you probably actually don’t really like me that much.

I keep thinking and thinking
and it’s really not getting me very far.
All that happens is that I just get more and more scared.

Everyone has told me to protect my heart.
But I don’t know how to do that.
I fell fast and hard and now I don’t really know what to do.

I don’t know what I’m doing.
I don’t know what I’m writing.
All I know is that I like you and I hope you like me too.


Learning To Love Groupon Coupons

*This post was sponsored by Groupon. However all opinions are my own.*

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been the biggest fan of coupons. I’ve always found them inconvenient mainly because I always forget that they exist.

That changed a few weeks ago when I went out with a friend. She invited me out for dinner at this really nice place that had awesome Mookata. So we went and we had an awesome time. The food was amazing. The company was even more amazing and we just had a great time.

When it came time to pay however, she simply told the cashier that she had a Groupon coupon, flashed the coupon from her phone and we instantly got a ridiculous discount on our whole meal which was actually a little pricy.

Ever since then, I’ve done some research into Groupon Coupons and I’ve discovered that they are honestly really cool.

First of all, you no longer need to cut coupons out and stick them in your wallet and actually remember to use them. Rather, they are all stored up in your phone. If you are at a store, you just need to whip out your phone and you’ve got discounts at your fingertips. It’s pretty cool no?

And the best part is that you have Groupon Coupons for everything from shoes to food and to clothes. There’s really no reason not to want to use them!