I'd like to thank Roxanne @ Bewitching Book Tours for giving me this opportunity to participate in the WHAT IF Blog Tour and I'd like to welcome Kelly Rae to ABTB! There's also a GIVEAWAY at the end of the post for an E-COPY of What If...! Be sure to thank Kelly!
By Kelly Rae
One fateful night during high school Katie Wright loses everything: her father, the first man she ever loved, dies in a car accident and Chris Staller, the first boy she’s ever loved, breaks her heart. Fast-forward ten years and Katie is a beautiful, successful woman who has spent the past decade doing her best to make her life all about work, keeping everyone at arms length—friends and lovers alike. But she’s lonely and beginning to awaken to the fact that pretending to be happy and content doesn’t mean she actually is. Working through her emotional challenges while maintaining a stellar career reputation has been tricky, but she’s always determined to come out on top.
Paying a visit to her old high school, Katie runs into Chris, now a dedicated PE teacher who pines for the one he let get away: her. An upstanding member of the community and a much better man than he was a boy, Chris is determined to win Katie back at all cost. But Katie is less than receptive to the idea, and when he lays down a challenge, she is determined to come out on top again.
Learning to follow the heart is a lesson everyone must learn and Kelly Rae’s sweet love story is a powerful reminder of the healing power of forgiveness in that journey. Delivered with unadorned prose, extraordinary grace, and warmth, What If…will fill your life with hope and the positive force of life.
About this Author:
@kellyraebooks twitter handle
Kelly Rae is a native of California, currently residing in a mountain of snow in Central Oregon, covertly planning her escape to get back to her Golden State roots. Kelly has a nine year-old son named Triton, who is her inspiration in all things, and a passion for writing, reading, and traveling.
@kellyraebooks twitter handle
Katie sat on the dilapidated porch of a girl she barely knew, waiting for her dad to arrive. The area was lit by a single bulb with no fixture, eerily humming next to the front door. Katie’s house was homey and clean. This house was run down and depressing. Katie hadn’t been impressed, upon arrival, with the vitamin green house or its front yard of brown grass and dead foliage. Now, with pieces of the wooden deck digging into the back of her legs, she was even less so. She had only worn this skirt because it was a warm spring night and it felt good to finally feel a little warmth in the air. She hadn’t planned to need protection from splinters.
Luckily, she had at least thought to bring a light sweater for when the cool night air arrived. The garment was now doubling as Kleenex. It was all she had at her disposal and it was better than the alternative. Her mom would have been furious if she knew Katie was using her sleeve to wipe the snot from her upper lip, but there was no way in heck she was going back into that house with tears flowing down her face and a snot mustache. It was the best she could do as she sat and patiently waited.
The party she was attending had been her boyfriend Chris’ idea. He was rapidly becoming more popular now that he had gotten involved in sports and was excelling. Suddenly people, who had not noticed either of them, were paying close attention. Katie was honest enough with herself to admit that Chris’ popularity had surpassed her own and she was now his plus one, rather than he being hers.
She didn’t mind so much, she had seen the fickle side of popularity before and she could deal with being the supporting player as long as Chris didn’t treat her that way.
Now out of his shell, he was funny and much more charming by the day. He was the star and she was happy for him, mostly. They had gotten into a few fights recently about his new attitude, because to her it seemed he was letting the attention get the best of him. Katie didn’t like the big ego he was toting around town disguised as his head. She was the reason he had tried out for sports in the first place, she was the one who had helped him with his GPA to be eligible, so she had hoped he would be more appreciative, or at least treat her as well as he had before he got popular. Clearly, that was not going to happen, because here she was on this porch, weeping and oozing visible signs of sadness from her entire face.
Katie vaguely heard sirens off in the distance, but didn’t give them too much thought. She was busy trying to calm herself, trying to control her breathing with deep, long breaths of air. Unfortunately, every time she breathed in all she could smell was jasmine. She never understood why everyone loved jasmine so much. It made her nose burn, eyes water, and well, it stunk. So, at the very least she could tell people it was a bad reaction to jasmine that had her eyes swollen and leaking.
The sirens were closer; she could hear them even through her own sobs, snot, and sorrow. Her dad would be there any minute and he would make her feel better. He always did. Scraped knees, hurt feelings, bad grades, he had a way of making them all seem better. When Katie had called him to come and get her, she could tell that he was worried. He kept asking her what was wrong, but she couldn’t get the words out past the tears. She could barely get out the request for a ride home.
The emergency vehicles seemed ever louder or maybe there were just more of them, it was hard to tell. Katie was worried her dad might be delayed if traffic was blocked; for what sounded like a big accident. She thought she could pick out an ambulance siren now and maybe a fire truck, it was impossible to discern the different sounds as they mixed together in a sad melody. Behind her, the music was still loud and the voices of her peers laughing and gossiping about each other started to fade away. The pit of her stomach began to ache. Dad wasn’t here yet, it had been at least ten minutes, maybe more, and they didn’t live that far away. Katie heard the front door open and looked back to see Chris standing there with a concerned look on his face.
“Katie, what are you doing out here? I’ve been looking all over the house for you.” He had the nerve to sound perturbed. He stepped closer to where she was sitting and she put her hand up to tell him to stop, before she stood up to face him.
“Really? All over the house, huh? Too bad I wasn’t in that brunette’s mouth, ‘cause then you would have found me right away.” She snapped at him.
Immediate guilt washed over his far too handsome face. His eyes, the most amazing hazel, often said more than his words. When he was sad, they were glassy, as if he were stifling tears. When he was happy, they seemed to be smiling just as much as his mouth. And when he was being a joker or mischievous, which was ninety percent of the time, they sparkled like the night sky. He couldn’t hide much if you paid attention to his eyes.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about walking into the basement looking for you, since I thought we were at this party together, and finding you with your tongue down some other girl’s throat! That’s what I am talking about, Chris, and if you try to deny it, I’ll just scream. I am so mad at you right now.”
Interview of Katie Wright Heroine from What If…:
First how about you introduce yourself and tell us about the book in which you are the HERO?
Hello, my name is Katie Wright and I am an Assistant DA in Pennsville Station. I am in my late twenties and although I am somewhat adept in a courtroom, I am not as adept in large social groups, so please bear with me in this interview; I will try to sound as intelligent as possible.
What is it about Chris that you just can’t get out of your system?
Oh boy, you’re just going to jump right into it aren’t you? Ok, let’s see here, well when Chris and I first met I think that I felt special because I saw in him what no one else seemed to, at least at first. He was warm, funny, and smarter than he gave himself credit for and I was attracted to the idea that I could help him see himself through my eyes. Now, as adults I am oddly attracted to the fact that he is a confident man, who knows he can do anything if he goes for it, who still has this sense of fun and goofiness that I envy and who will forever take care of, even though we both know I can do it for myself. In addition, he is an amazing kisser, so that helps too!
How do you think life would have been different if you had not come back to Pennsville?
Well I am pretty sure that there is no instance in which I am not exactly where I am meant to be at any given time! But, if for some reason this had not been my path and I had stayed in Boston or moved to another city I imagine I would still be working too many hours, hiding behind my work and I’d be lonely. For once, I can honestly say, I haven’t been lonely in months, not since I reached out to Sarah and certainly not since, Chris and I have decided to see what happens. So, here is a much better place than anywhere else in the world would have been for me, no doubt!
Tell us one thing you tease Chris about?
Oh my, it’s somewhat embarrassing, but I like to tease him about his choice in women, outside of myself of course. I have run in to MANY of the women in this town who had the, not so rare, privilege of dating my boyfriend. Some of them are lucky if they can spell his name, let alone their own. And of course, I say this, knowing it’s completely snide. This article won’t be published in Pennsville will it? I would just be mortified. I know it’s not actually true and I am sure the women were very sweet and all had a particular talent that made them loveable, let’s just say he hasn’t always been a man who needed a woman to keep up intellectually, to be date worthy. Wow, that sounds bad even as I try to make it sound better. Well, I am a normal girl I suppose, either way I am still a little jealous of any woman who had even the smallest piece of my man. I won’t be letting it happen again, lol!
If you could tell the 17 year old you anything, what would you say?
I would tell the scared and deeply sad girl not to waste so much time worrying about the things in life she cannot change, to remember the good times she had with her father and to use his death as a reminder to live every day to the fullest rather than hiding. However, I wouldn’t change any of it, because I am happy with my life and if anything had gone differently, I wouldn’t have the life I have now. In my heart, I know that Chris and I are meant to be and the journey to him was worth the reward.
What’s your favorite thing about first kisses?
I have only had one that mattered; well I guess I should say two that mattered. My favorite thing about a first kiss is the possibilities that it holds. It could be the best kiss or the worst, but until the moment your lips touch well the possibilities are just endless aren’t they. Now, if you are lucky, which I have been recently, a second first kiss can hold all the possibility and wonder in the world!
Is there a spot on a man that might surprise people is a turn on to you?
My favorite spot any man is their hip bone area. Chris told me what it’s called in anatomy terms but I always forget. Sarah and I just call it the Hot Spot. A man doesn’t even need a pretty face, if he can show off a deep V right at his hip, gets me every time. Chris says he worries I am going to trade him in when his goes away with age. But between you and me my memory of that spot is well established and just in case I took a picture of him coming out of the shower the other day, zoomed….so he has nothing to worry about, I’ll always have the picture!
Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for having me and thanks to your readers for taking the time to stop by and learn a bit about me and our book What If…, which is currently for sale in eBook and paperback on Amazon and Barnes&Noble and eBook only on Smashwords, KOBO and Diesel.
One lucky person, who makes a comment on this blog today, will win a free copy of What If… via Smashwords coupon so you can download to any ereader or laptop you might have. I hope you enjoy reading What If… should you decide to pick up a copy.
I should also mention our author Kelly Rae loves to connect with readers, if you are so inclined, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. She is a gabby one that lady! May your road be blessed!
All the best,
GIVEAWAY:a Rafflecopter giveaway