Monday, December 8, 2014

A Little Bit of Realness

It's been a long time since I've been able to write any sort of blog post and that's simply because I don't have much to say. In person, I'm probably more loud than timid, but social media and I don't really get along. My way of communicating doesn't quite translate through the computer so I tend to keep to myself. I have a habit of making people angry by saying something simple. It's a gift. *she says sarcastically* But as I'm sitting here in my living room, the house quiet, I can't help but feel the need to write something...anything. It doesn't necessarily have to be profound or meaningful, I just have this ache--or need--to get these jumbled thoughts out of my head.
I've had a rough six months, and if you know me, you'll know I don't like to publicly complain about much. I keep my problems to myself because I think, maybe people don't want to hear about it, or even care, for that matter. Life can get pretty damn muddy sometimes and wading my way through the sludge can almost feel impossible.
But then I think, why am I complaining?
My marriage is perfect.
My family is perfect.
My LIFE is perfect. 
In light of everything being perfect, I can't help but ask myself why I'm still so...lost. So alone. I have family and friends who are always there for me, but I just feel....ugh, I don't know. It drives me crazy not to be able to pinpoint just what I'm feeling.
I had a good friend tell me today that she openly shows her vulnerable side because she hopes to show others that they aren't alone. And that struck me hard. In the gut. Why am I hiding? My outlook on life had always been to internalize. As a child, I had a rough go of things and unless you wanted a fight, you didn't tell others the struggles you went through. "Put a smile on your face and act happy," I'd be told.
I was a closet sad person. On the outside, I was happy and cheerful. I'd laugh and play, make jokes and seem carefree, but as soon as I got home and those doors shut, I'd be a different person. Someone who was scared.
I'm still scared--just for different reasons.
But my childhood shaped me into this person. Who am I?
I'm a wife and a mother. I love deeply with everything I am. I'm incredibly soft hearted. I write because it's the only thing I've found love in outside of my family.
But, is that all I am?
I'm not an adventurer or adventurous. I don't love to travel. That's the IT thing with people my age, but I'm fairly meh about it. I'd rather stay home with my family because it's where I feel most safe.
Does that make me a bad person?
These little things ran around in my head on a constant loop. Over and over. They still do. I've never been fully okay with who I am because I was always so worried about what others thought of me.
Today, as I was visiting with my friend, we talked about body image. *good Lord...the body image issue* LOL. But, her and I both agreed that we were okay with how we looked. Whoa, right? We weren't stick thin, and we may not be the most beautiful person, but we feel confident in our skin. It didn't matter if Joe Schmoe over there didn't like us. We liked us.
And as I left her house, I couldn't help but bring that full circle to the rest of my life.
Why can't I just be happy with who I am? Flaws and all. My body image wasn't the issue, my inner self was. Why do I have to be in this constant struggle to make others like me, too? And that's when it clicked. *snaps fingers* I love me. I really do. And I'm going to make a constant effort to be okay if others don't.
I am okay.
I am human. I am going to mess up, it'll probably messy and gross, but that'll be okay. I think it's time to stop dwelling on the bad and embrace everything that is good. These little imperfections are what make me who I am. It's okay that I don't like to hop on a plane and travel to exotic lands. It's okay that I'd rather spend my money on things for the house than buy expensive clothes. It's okay to embrace that I'm not perfect. I am not everyones cup of tea.
It's okay.

So, as I say goodbye, try to find the good and give the finger to the bad.

Stay brave,


Thursday, October 2, 2014

12 Thoughts A Romance Writer Has While Writing A Novel

Oh, romance writers... We are special, aren't we? We strive to make you yearn and feel by the words we put together on the page. We want to rip your heart out and laugh at you while we do it. It's sick, and sort of amazing. Shhh, I didn't say that. But, a lot of the time, it's insanely stressful to put the story on a word document. We go through stages...painful are some for your enjoyment. :)

1. In the very beginning, you're freaking ecstatic. "My story is fudging amazing! I can't wait to write."  

2. Then, around a quarter of the way through the first chapter, you hate yourself. "I suck. This sucks. EVERYTHING SUCKS!!" Yeah, introductions can kiss my ass. 

 3. But, finally, you push through and you're calm. Everything is working itself out and life is good again."I might actually be able to do this." 

 4. When you really get into the meat and potatoes of your story, you begin to question everything."Lord have mercy, save my characters! I'm about to delete every damn word if you don't stop talking all at once."

 5. "What the fuck did I just write?" 

But, seriously, everyone has this thought. 
This nauseating, stomach churning feeling that settles in your stomach until you write something that takes it away. It could be thousands of words down the road, but it'll happen. Have faith in yourself.

6. "I'm terrified that my readers will think my characters fall in love too quickly."

Okay, so lets all be honest. We hate insta-love. Sometimes it works, and other times, it just doesn't. When you're a romance/contemporary/new adult writer, that's basically the one thing everyone can agree on. One of my good friends, Jennifer, told me, "when in doubt, wait. Always wait. Make them work for it." And, really, that's amazing advice. Take it. Use it. Implement it.

 7. When you begin to finish your book, you'll inevitably think you've got the story down pat. "Why yes, kind sir. I do actually have a conclusion in mind."

Uhhh, yeah, no. 92,000 words in, shit will change and all hell will break loose. Unless you're a crazy outline addict and write everything down, things will change. Shoot, even then. The story moves, and so do you. At least in my experience, where you want your characters to go and where they ACTUALLY go are two different paths. 

 8. "I'm two weeks away from my deadline and I might vomit if I don't write 7,000 words tonight." When you get to that last home stretch, everything turns into your story. Your husband walked in the door and gives you a look, and suddenly, your character has a thought and you HAVE to write it down. It's slightly maddening. The struggle is real, y'all.

 9. "I might pee my pants."

Yep, you read that right. The possibility of peeing your pants the moment you write "The End" is very likely. Being done is almost so formal that it makes you want to lose bodily functions. It's like, holy shit, I just finished and now I have to edit.

 10. "Ugh, editing. The bane of my existence." I. Hate. Editing. Editing sucks. A lot. For a long time. Bah! 

 11. "I actually have to push the "publish" button myself?!" Eff that nonsense! Yeah, that one click is enough to make me break out in hives. Putting your baby out into the word is scary. 

 12. "Did she really just say that?!" Your book is published and now you're waiting for reviews. DON'T DO THIS. Don't read reviews if you can. People cannot label your worth. Only you can do that. You are a good writer. If you believe in yourself and your ability, the rest will come. And, if you do decide to read the reviews, don't let the negative ones get you down. Read them, take note, and move on. You aren't going to make everyone happy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cover Reveal for Anyone But Him!

Title: Anyone But Him
Author: Cassie Graham
Release Date: Fall 2014

Whitley Hayes is an ordinary girl with a gypsy heart. College is the only constant in her life. She’s made a lot of mistakes and she intends on keeping them in the past. 
Move on and forget. 
That’s her motto. 

Jennings Cohen is no ordinary man—not at all. He would have never imagined his life would turn into such a spectacle. The tabloids exploit him, fans stalk him and the paparazzi are relentless. It’s not always fun being Jennings.
It doesn’t help that he has a secret. One that comes at a price he’s not sure he can pay.

Relationships get complicated and hearts shatter.

It’s not easy living a lie, but it’s easier than telling the truth.

“These people?” I question. I hadn’t noticed anyone else but Whitley since the moment I picked her up.

She levels her eyes, taking a drink of the water that was just delivered. I watch as she plays with the straw with her tongue, unintentionally. My mouth goes dry and I have to gulp past the lump in my throat.

“Yes, these people.” She slyly motions at the room. “Every person who’s made any sort of contact with you has this starry-eyed, dopey look to them.”

I put my arms on the table and lower my head. “You know,” I whisper. “I’m sort of famous.”

Next comes a swift kick to my shin and I wince, laughing. “Okay, okay. That was tacky.”

She covers her mouth from laughing. “Maybe a little.”

“What can I get you?” the waitress asks, interrupting us. 

Whitley’s eyes widen. “Oh, umm.” She pushes the hair back from her face. 

She’s so beautiful. 

“Instead of the Mahi-Mahi, can I just get the one Mahi, because I’m not that hungry?” 

My eyes bulge and I can’t contain my burst of laughter. 

Saying nothing, the waitress pauses as Whitley looks up to her looking innocent and doe-eyed.

I have to give it to Whitley, she doesn’t break. She keeps a straight face and looks to the waitress, expecting a response.

“We,” the waitress, whose name appears to be Lacy, stutters, not understanding the movie quote. “We’re actually out of the Mahi-Mahi.”

Unaffected, Whitley closes the menu. “Oh, well, okay. I’ll just have the tilapia with roasted vegetables. Thank you.” 

Lacy takes Whit’s menu, shakes her head and turns to me. “And, for you?”

Now she’s short with me. 

“I’ll take the flounder. Thank you.” I smile at her, struggling to break the tension.

Lacy’s shoulders soften and she takes my menu and heads toward the kitchen.

When we’re alone, I look to Whitley. “House Bunny? Really?”

“What? I thought it was funny.”

“Me too,” I admit. Laughter is something that has been sparse in my life.

“Is it your favorite movie?”

She laughs. “House Bunny? God, no. Funny, but certainly not my favorite.”

“Then, what is?”

She takes a moment to think, not answering right away. “Honestly? I don’t really have a favorite movie. Well...I mean, maybe I do. It’s just so hard to choose. It changes all of the time.”

“Okay. Top three.”

“Umm...Princess Bride, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, and uhh—oh geeze, any Harry Potter.”

She seems embarrassed by her admission, but I sort of love her list. All classics in their own right.

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You kill my father. Prepare to die.”

“Yes!” She whoops. “Best line, ever.”

I laugh. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

She stomps her foot under the table. “Inconceivable!” 

We laugh together, and Whitley’s eyes sparkle with mischief. 

“Okay, Mr. Famous, what is your top three?” 

I hesitate. I’m always asked this question in interviews. Most are just hoping for their next endorsement, but I always give a generic answer. Usually, it’s the movie I’m filming or promoting at the time.

Cracking my knuckles, I try to really think about my answer. I’ve never genuinely thought about it. “Oh Christ, you can’t ask an actor that,” I laugh. “Really, I don’t know.”

Her shoulders sag. “You don’t know?”

“I don’t. I’m always in movies. I don’t have time to actually watch them. Hell, I’ve never even seen any of the movies I’ve filmed.”

“Wait, wait.” Whitley puts her hands up, stopping me. “You’ve never watched one of your own movies? Like, you’ve never watched yourself on the big screen?”

I shrug my shoulder. “Nope.”

“What?” she asks, dumbfounded. “Why? How? I mean—Jesus, Jenns, what do you do at premiers?”

I turn away, not really proud of my answer. “I leave. Slip out the back, or sit in the lobby. It’s always deserted while the film is running.”

“Then what? You return as the credits roll?”

“Basically, yeah.”

“Wow,” she breathes. 

“It’s just my thing. I don’t like to watch myself. In my eyes, I could always change my performance. I could have said something with more feeling, or looked deeper into the characters eyes. I’m hard on my acting, and in turn, end up beating my myself up. It makes me a shitty actor.”

Whitley stares at me blankly as I give up one of my secrets. 

It seems like hours before she blinks. 

“What are you thinking?” I ask. Frankly, I’m tired of waiting for her to say something. I thought she’d at least have an opinion.

Slightly shaking her head, she drags her fingers through her hair. “Holy shit. You have no idea.”

My mouth quirks down, and I tilt my head. “I have no idea, what?”

“You are...,” her eyes haze, letting me see into that door of her soul. “You are phenomenal on screen. Charismatic and fluid. Compelling and magnetic.” She touches my hand. “You draw people in with looks alone, Jennings.”

Not that my ego needs anymore feeding, but, fuck me, hearing her say those words. Words that don’t mean shit from anyone else, makes me feel like jumping on the table and shouting for fucking joy. 

My smile can’t be controlled. “You’ve seen my movies, Whitley?”

She rolls her eyes, a smirk breaking through her features. “Shut up. Everyone has."

“I didn’t peg you for someone to watch those kinds of movies.”

She snorts a laugh and rubs under her eye. “Yeah, well, you’re sort of famous.”

“You can’t resist my raw magnetism, right? God, I’m sexy.”

Author of Unable to Resist, Cassie resides in Arizona with her husband, daughter and two dogs.

Cassie went to school to be an English teacher, but decided to quit to be a military wife. While, she always loved writing, she didn’t find her true passion for New Adult until she turned twenty.

Now, with one novel under her belt, she can’t wait to release Anyone But Him.
If Cassie isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen making baked goods for her family. She’s always believed the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and her husband proves that correct every day.

Cassie loves her readers and hopes she makes them proud.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Just Can't Even...

Here I am again, it's well past midnight and I can't sleep.


I tried going to bed. I shut my eyes and attempted to calm my nerves but nothing happened. I didn't drift off into dreamland or into the black oblivion of a really deep sleep. I'm here. Awake. And jittery.

Why, you ask?

Because I just finished the best book. And I don't mean that in the sense that's like, "Ohhhh, dude, I just read the best book." *fist bump* Yes, book nerds do that. :)


I mean, I literally just read the best book ever. EVER. I've read thousands of books. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has hit my heart and my emotions like this particular one did. I'm floating. With what, I have no idea. I've never felt so damn much reading. Ever.

I'm confused. I'm conflicted. I'm full. I'm happy. I'm sad. I'm empty. I'm giddy. I'm wide awake. I'm in awe.




This book is liquid. It can't really be caught. It can't be put into one stereotypical category. It's alone. It's floating.

It's perfect.

I don't know if I'll ever get over this book.

It's one of those that you have to read over and over, simply because you have to purge the NEED out of your system.

That's what I've noticed with this genre. This style of writing. It brings out emotions that no other genre really does. It hits something on the head that can't be maintained anywhere else.

I love other genres. Put a good book in front of my face and I'll read it.

I think, in order to write...even a little bit, you have to have many flavors in your arsenal.

But, this...this book? This book is the reason why I specifically love this genre. It stands for everything that is good and great. It just is.

It. Is.

It is...everything.

I'm sad it's over. I'm sad I can't read it again for the first time.

If you want to buy the book, and I suggest you do. Here is the link.

UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sleep, Why Must You Evade Me?

So, it's well past midnight here in AZ and I've yet to sleep.

Why, body?! Why?

Here's the thing...finally being able to find a creative outlet is sort of a weight lifted. I went years (after high school) sort of walking around blind. If you knew me then, you'll know I lived and breathed singing. Singing was everything. I spent every waking moment dedicating my life to it. If I wasn't actually singing, I was studying music, technique and the logistics of it. I wanted to be the best at what I did. Go big, or go home, right? So, that's what I did. I strived to be a role model. Was I one? Hell if I know. I'd like to think I made even a little bit of an impression on the people I came into contact with, but really, how could I know that? That's beside the point...I'm rambling.

I graduated and lost contact with who I was. What I wanted to do. I went to work with special needs children and I liked it. Did I love it? No. My kids were amazing. I still miss them. But, I'm creative. And Jesus, that sounds so damn cliche. "Oh, I'm a creative." LAME. But, I want to do things that don't consist of the everyday norm. I changed my college major more times than I'd like to admit simply because I got bored. Everyday, I'd go to class, do the mundane assignments, turn it in and yawn. I didn't want the day-to-day life. This artistic side was screaming, begging to come out and be heard, but I shut it up. I thought that part of my life was done. Singing isn't an "adult" thing to want to pursue. First of all, I'm not good enough to do it. I'm a choral singer. Plain and simple. Put me with two other girls and I shine. I love making music with others. But, put me in a solo position and I bomb. Straight into the ground, burying myself along the way. And unless you're going to go to a big choral school, striving for a choral career was not easy. I gave up. There...I said it. I gave up on myself.

I was walking around without a map. And mapless Cassie sucks. She latched onto anything just to feel something. Anything. But, it never came. I found my husband. He put light into my world of confusion. He helped me find myself. But, even he couldn't really help pull me out of my funk. I was mad.

Then, one night, after I got married, my husband was away, training for the Air Force, when I decided I was going to stop being an idiot and I was going to figure my shit out.

I'd always loved to write. I was told often in high school that I was a decent writer. I had a two teachers who literally read my assigned journal entry everyday to dissect it. At the time, I blew it off.

Singing...that's what I was going to do.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Anyway, back on topic. One night--or morning--I remember coming home late from being out with friends, alone in my apartment, writing characteristics down on a piece of paper. Something in me needed to live. I had these lives in my brain they wanted out.

If I recall correctly, it was super cold that year. I lived on the 3rd story of the apartment building and I heard a young couple outside proclaiming their love to each other. At the time, I didn't think anything about it. I closed my notebook and hid it away. A year later, I found the notebook and flipped to the character list and re-read it. It was very much an ode to my life with my husband. A couple deeply in love, never wanting to part. Instant love. (I know, I know. We hate insta-love) But, my story started that way. Adam and I fell quick. It was easy. To love him was like breathing. I didn't have to think about it. It was like a knee-jerk reaction. The first night he kissed me...I knew. You can wave me off and not believe me, but it's the truth. That was almost nine years ago and I love him more now than I could ever imagine.


At that time, we lived in Tucson at our duty station and I didn't think I could do anything about it. Again, I shut that notebook and stowed it away. We moved 3 times before I dug that notebook back out and really decided to bite the bullet and do something with my life. I had had my daughter, and we got out of the Air Force, it was time to finally do something for me. I needed to find a way to make my heart happy.

So, I outlined...

.....and outlined....

Oh yeah, more outlining.

Then, I finally started to write my story.

And it didn't go the way I thought it would. At all. Like, not one ounce. The only aspect that stayed intact was the love the two characters felt for each other. That never changed. But, everything else, pshhh, it all went out the window. I wrote close to 80,000 words and decided I hated the story. I hit DELETE and started all over again. All. Over. Again.

I cried...a lot. I didn't sleep. When you have characters that want to be written, you're sort of on their time. Human time doesn't mean shit to characters.

So, here I am. Human time is sleeping. Human Cassie is passed out in bed, snoring. But, Writer Cassie is up, at fucking one A.M., listening to her characters ramble on about how they want to be written.

I'm talking in 3rd person...

So, I'm stuck in this constant pull of taking notes and watching my blinking curser. There are some days, like today, it doesn't matter how many notes I've written, I can't get the story out. Being blocked is a bitch. I've got pages upon pages of outlines and notes and I have no idea what to write...

Here's hoping I get some sleep tonight....

So much love,



Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little News

So, I wanted to let you guys know what is in store for the next year!

Anyone But Him should be released the week of Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING!!! Here's hoping that actually happens. I'm writing my tush off to get it to you ASAP. Jennings is easy to write, though, so I'm thinking it'll work out. Synopsis will be released in August for my birthday.

The next installment of the Unable Series will be Brent's story. And if you read UtR, you'll know that some serious shit is going to go down. I'll release the title soon. It should be released by May of next year. Possibly earlier depending on how Anyone But Him goes.

I'm also writing a novella for the Unable Series that I'm hoping to just offer for free. I'll keep you posted. The first half of it will be in a compilation of stories that myself and the authors of an event I'm doing next year. That will be released...I don't know when. But the proceeds are going to the Make A Wish Foundation, and I think that's pretty badass. When I get more details, I'll let you know. Get excited though because there are TONS of amazing authors that will be featured in this book.

The third and final installment of the Unable Series will be Jason's story. I can't wait to write him. He seems to be everyones favorite character, and he's already screaming in my head to be written. That'll be released next year, probably in the summer.

So for now, this is all I've got for you. Three books and a novella in the next year.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Heart Can't Take it--A letter to My Daughter

There are some things that I can easily take. i.e. The sweltering heat here in AZ. Having to take out all of the sweets in my house because I refuse to get any fatter. *Giggle* Hell, a punch on the arm. (Okay, that one was lame, but still...)

What I can't handle are all of these kind words I'm receiving from bloggers and readers. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think people would embrace this crazy story of mine. My heart is so full. I'm having a hard time not crying.

All of this is happening and I'm still so thankful. I don't expect anything. Nothing. At all. I'm flabbergasted that people are even taking the time to read it.

I mean--people are reading my words. They are opening up the book and actually reading the whole thing.

This can't be my life.

How did this happen?

I can't get over it.

I'm not writing this post to boast. Really--it's my round-about way of getting to a point. One I think we all need to hear. Specifically my daughter.

Sweet Ju Ju, 

Honey, there will come a day when you'll get praise. A lot of it. You're already amazing and you're only two, I can't wait to see what you do when you're older. Anyway, there will be a day when you do something great. Perfect, even. 

Keep a level head. Don't let the praise get to you. Take it and brush it off. Take the kind words the same as you would the criticism. 

Don't let it phase you. 

(You'd probably like to know that as I type this, you smashed your little toe in between the TV stand and your rocking horse. You came over, received a kiss on your boo-boo and shook it off.)

Always be this way. Take the hit. Accept it. Embrace it. The harsh words and the mean people, let them fuel your fire. Let each disapproval make you better. 

Let a few tears fall over the haters, let their words sink in. But then, let them sink. To the bottom. Forget them. 

You are worthy. You are amazing. Find a way to rise from the ashes of their condemnation and be great. 

Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you proud. 

There are very few things I've done in this world that make me as proud as I am of you. 

You and your father are my everything. My entire world. My existence. But now that I've found writing, I can add that to the list. 

I hope you can feel this way, one day.

Find what makes you happy to live. I don't care what it is. I'll always encourage you. You want to run off and be an actor? Hell yes, let's move to L.A.. You want to go and join the circus? I'll find a traveling one so that you can do what you love in a different state. 

Listen to me. You can't make everyone happy. Do what makes Be who makes you, you. There is only one you, make her good. 

Please, be grateful for everything. Take nothing for granted because as soon as the good comes, the bad might follow.

Be prepared for both. And when the bad does come, handle it with grace. No one likes a whiney ass. :) 

I love you, sweet girl. Today, yesterday and always,

Love, Mama

Images by Freepik