Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Damsel Distressed Bookiversary Bash!

A few months back, I was lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Kelsey Macke's Damsel Distressed. The book easily became one of my top reads of last year and one of my favorite books ever. I'm really excited to be a part of the bookiversary bash because I really want this book to get more exposure. It honestly deserves ALL THE LOVE. Feel free to check out my review of the book! 

Anyway, today I'm going to be sharing a partially alternate, partially deleted scene from the book. 

Author's note: This scene is in the book (pages 35 - 36 in the finished copy, the end of chapter 4), but it’s slightly different than what ended up in the final version of the story. It’s partially an altered scene and partially a deleted scene.
I toss and turn.

This pillow is made of suck.

I can't fall asleep, and therefore, I can't stop my brain. It churns and pumps out information in a steady noisy stream.

What's in a name?

My mother is in my name.

She chose Imogen because she loved the play Cymbeline. She always called me "Princess Immy", which was my favorite term of endearment.

I wonder if I can smother myself with this pillow?

Dad never called me that.
Until she died, that is.

The very same day he told me she was gone, he began to use the pet name she'd given me.
He's called me that ever since.
I think she would have liked that.

Stupid brain.

Playing and replaying the saddest scenes of my life over and over behind my closed eyes.

My kingdom for a reel of funny cat videos up in here.
I take a deep breath and try to clear my mind.

The speckled colors swirling inside my eyelids distract me.

This is good.

Very good.

Watch the swirly speckled things.

The swirling slowly becomes turning, and the turning slowly becomes dancing.

The dancing slowly becomes my mother.

Or maybe I mean eclectic.

An actress, dancer, painter, singer.

If it involved creativity, she did it.

Whatever she was doing, she exuded this brilliance she always kept just beneath her skin. She glowed. Everyone thought so. My poor dad was drawn like a moth to a flame. She was a blazing fire, popping and crackling with joy and life.

They met when they were both living in New York City in the early nineties. My mother performed in a few workshops and off-off-off Broadway shows. Some of them were unsuccessful, and some of them were even less successful, but she didn't care. She loved the stage.

My father, meanwhile, was accepted into the creative writing program at Columbia. One evening, he followed his classmates into the city to see this crappy little show, in this crappy little theatre, and as he sat waiting for the lights to come up, he felt her. 

He always tells me that he felt her before he saw her. His heart jumped and his eyes, almost desperately, scoured the small stage. As the lights rose, hues of violet and blue fell over my mother's body as she held it in a delicate, yet strong position. Her arms were raised above her head in sweeping arcs, and her left leg stood steady as her right extended far behind her. As she lowered her chin, her blazing eyes swept the crowd and were caught in the drawing gaze of my dad.

I can't even count the number of times I've heard that story.

But I know that every single time was in the years after she died... not before.

I can't count the number of times I've seen the movie Hairspray. Why can't that be the story replaying in my head.
Where is Zac Efron when you need him?
Be sure to check out the book and its accompanying CD!

Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing.

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn't think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen, a girl who's survived the years after her mother's death by focusing squarely on her best friend, Grant, musical theatre, and lots of cheese. The book is full of humor and heart, and also contains a few surprises. Full page sketches are scattered throughout the novel, and each one contains a QR code that corresponds to a song from the book's soundtrack. Imogen Unlocked is a 12-song album of original music written by the author and her husband Daron as their indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain. Together, the book Damsel Distressed and the soundtrack Imogen Unlocked work together to tell the story of a girl who might just make her own Happily Ever After, if she can just hold herself together.

Track Listing:
1. Heavy
2. No Goodbye
3. Something About
4. Sinking
5. Don't Wake Me Up
6. Let Me Go
7. My Strength
8. Unseen
9. Always Speak Too Late
10. The End is Just the Beginning
11. Breathe Easy
12. Edge of the Fall

About the Author
Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published... a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.

Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.

This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.

DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album of original songs, Imogen Unlocked, are scheduled for release in October 2014.

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