GUEST POST FROM KARA SWANSON, AND GIVEAWAY FOR "THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE"

Saturday, December 9, 2017
(phew, that's a long blog title. :P)

Happy Saturday, everyone! We're sixteen days away from Christmas (um, what). To tide you over until the twenty-fifth, my lovely friend and author, Kara Swanson, is graciously taking over the blog today. (and I've added in a giveaway of her book at the end -- The Girl Who Could See -- so keep reading for that. :)

I'll keep my babbling to a minimum and let Kara take over from here. :D


(Yes, that is a giant picture of her book's cover. You're welcome.)

Hi Katie!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. So appreciate you reaching out. And I can't wait to hopefully get to see her in person at Realm Makers this year! (Which, if any of you aren't familiar with it, Realm Makers is a Christian writers conference for speculative fiction authors!)

I met Katie through Go Teen Writers, and have always been so inspired by her tenacity and writing skill! She and I both started writing at a young age, and tend to weave our own stories into our fictional ones. My latest release, The Girl Who Could See, came out in June of this year and is about another young woman who is carried along on an adventure.

Fern Johnson can see the impossible. Since she was a child, she has had an imaginary friend named Tristan--but Tristan has never left. This blonde, weapon-wielding warrior has never been far from her footsteps, but while he claims he is here to help, Tristan's very existence is shattering Fern's life. Because she is the only one who can see this invisible hero, and the decaying city around him, while the rest of the world believes that he is only a figment of her imagination. That Fern is going insane. 
But Fern Johnson is not crazy. She can see into a parallel world--and if she's not careful, the monster that desolated Tristan's planet is going to destroy hers.
The Girl Who Could See started off with two short lines in my head, a prompt that I had to follow:

They say every child had an imaginary friend.
Mine never left.

So I continued to tug on that string, and a story about a young woman who stands in the hallway between two worlds is what unraveled. Beyond that, another large aspect that impacted the creation of this story was a real-life battle I was fighting--and am still battling. Lyme Disease. I've had Lyme for six years, and only this past year did I finally find a treatment that is actually curing the disease. I'm so grateful to be almost 100% Lyme-free, but when I wrote The Girl Who Could See, I was thick in the middle of my fight against the sickness. I was in constant pain, and could hardly trust my own mind as I was so tired my thoughts weren't my own.

The emotions and struggles that followed this were soon woven into my novella. Fern is unable to drive, and constantly feels like she doesn't fit in, like she's being pulled between two worlds. With my Lyme symptoms, driving was too dangerous for me to get my license, and I felt like I could see the world passing around me--but I was stuck on the outside, peering in. Unable to tangibly touch life.

Just watch it pass by.

But like Fern, I kept fighting, and eventually was able to survive--thrive, even--despite having a disease that to most would have seemed like a curse. Lyme allowed me to appreciate every moment of my day, it gave me a new gentleness toward the broken and hurting. I have been able to encourage so many with chronic pain, because I've experienced the hopelessness and agony.

I soon came to realize, just like Fern does in The Girl Who Could See, that what may seem like my greatest weakness can actually be my greatest strength. That it's the broken things that can shine the most light.


Thanks so much for that, Kara. <3 If you can't tell from her guest post, she's one of those people with a giant heart that overflows with enthusiasm. Before I skip right to the giveaway... can I flail? Like, how is that for a concept?? Cue the suspenseful music beginning to play because that sounds like pure epicness. *unfortunately doesn't own this book but needs to change that IMMEDIATELY*

Well, if you haven't already bounced to the giveaway with excitement, now's the time to enter for a paperback copy of this awesome novella.

(If the giveaway decides to be stubborn and won't load, follow this link.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be open up to the 25th! And on Christmas I'll contact the random winner. But until then there's no stopping you from snagging the book over on Amazon -- after all, it's a short novella that would be perfect to help you catch up on that Goodreads challenge. ;)

Thanks for reading! I hope the rest of your day manages to be both relaxing and productive. (is that possible? maybe. probably. good luck. xD)

(and if you're discovering my blog through this giveaway, hi! Eat some virtual pizza and introduce yourself -- you're more than welcome to stick around.)

<3,
katie grace

don't be afraid to leave a comment below for Kara!

37 comments :

  1. It's great to see Kara on here! She's my mentor and is just amazing. I already own TGWCS, but I'll definitely pass the word along! :)

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    1. Awww, really? That makes my heart happy. Thanks for passing the giveaway along, Charis!

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  2. Kara, your story is so amazing! I don’t have TGWCS yet, but I feel like I’ve seen it all over the place! I definitely need to grab it. Thanks for sharing! (And I’m hoping to attend Realm Makers for the first time next year!! So excited!)

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    1. DO IT, RILEY.

      (oh my goodness, really? I WOULD BE SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU. <3 <3)

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  3. Oh yay, a giveaway! I've been wanting to get this book, but my current book buying budget is non-existent.

    It was so nice to read about the story behind the story. I always love that! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Then I wish you the best of luck to winning this giveaway. :D

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  4. Well, I loved the book before but the story behind it just makes it more incredible! That's so amazing!!
    -Mikayla-

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it?? It's good to hear that you loved the story. Kara deserves all the love. <3 <3

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  5. The book is so pretty! Awesome post!

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    Replies
    1. ISN'T IT?? I'm in love with the cover. <3 <3

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  6. I need this book in my life. I'm hoping to get it soon!

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    Replies
    1. I know, but...*stares in fear at the massive TBR of books I already own*

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  7. Oh my word! This novella sounds AMAZING! And the story behind it is just so courageous and inspirational... I seriously need to read this...

    (ALSO! I haven't commented in literally 3,000 years because life=hectic BUUUUT I am the Holy Guacamole girl. XD So yeah! That's my awkward second introduction. Because I am awkward apparently. XD)

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    1. YOU SERIOUSLY DO NEED TO READ THIS. o.o

      (OH HEY THERE. Yay for second awkward introductions. *waves wildly*)

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    2. I KNOW!!! It's going on my TBR immediately. *opens Goodreads tab*

      (YES! SECOND AWKWARD INTRODUCTIONS ARE THE BEST!!!! *waves*)

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  8. Your story is so inspiring, Kara! My little sister had Lyme's last year, and I'm happy to say that now she's a healthy and happy ten year old! =) I definitely need to check out your book-it looks so good!

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    Replies
    1. So happy to hear that your sister is feeling better, Micaiah! <3

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  9. IS 'THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE' NOT ONE OF THE BESTEST BOOKS IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD?? I lovelovelove it!!!!! (especially cool because Kara was in a missionary family #myheart) This was a GREAT guest post, Kara!! You're an amazing human being, and God has blessed you with an INSANE gift!!
    -Ariel

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    1. AHH ARIEL IT'S BEEN AWHILE SINCE I'VE SEEN YOU HERE. *pizza and cookies* And eep, yes, Kara is amazing. <3 <3

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  10. Eeep I've heard stuff about this book but NOW I WANT IT ON MY BOOKSHELF. *flails* That concept is so. amazing.

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    1. SAME. I need that pretty cover displayed in my room. o.o

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  11. Replies
    1. I accidentally entered the wrong username in the thing is that going to mean I'm not entered?

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    2. No, you will still be entered! As long as your email is correct I'll be able to contact you if you win. :)

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  12. Ah this whole post was so cool! I love how Kara talked about her Lyme disease and putting that into her story... I have a chronic illness that was at its peak (in a bad way, haha) in summer 2016, and I spent the summer lying in bed writing a 50,000-word novel about a softball team and wishing that I could actually be playing softball instead of writing about it.

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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    1. Wow, Hailey, I had no idea! *hugs* How hard. :/ How are you doing with it now?

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  13. Lion alive, I love Kara and her book!! Utterly amazing!!! So cool that you got to interview her, Katie!!

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    1. It was so much fun! Thanks for reading, Julian. :D

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  14. Super excited to read your book

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  15. I saw the cover and read the synopsis and wow this book sounds amazing! Plus the story of inspiration behind it... it's been added to my (ever-growing) TBR list.

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    1. Doesn't it sound awesome?? Best of luck in the giveaway! <3

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  16. The cover is so so pretty!! It's on my TBR list now *eyes TBR pile suspiciously* and my Amazon wishlist :P

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  17. Love your post dear ♥ Your blog is amazing !
    If you want you can check out my blog.I write about fashion,beauty and lifestyle.Maybe we can follow each other and be great blogger friends !

    http://herecomesajla.blogspot.ba/

    ReplyDelete

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