Can I just say that it is incredibly ironic to be planning virtual learning for my students when I wrote an ENTIRE SERIES based around the themes of technology, getting un-plugged and living in the “real world?”

Some of you might be like, ‘What? Huh? You’re teaching?’ That is correct…I actually got my teaching license (middle and high school) before I became a young adult author. Now, taking a brief break from writing, I am back to teaching ELA in middle school…and I love it! Middle school might be the most awkward, hilarious, dramatic years of our lives. The thing I love is that middle schoolers keep it real. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and are not afraid to push boundaries. It’s such an amazing time of self-awareness, self-consciousness and heightened emotions. It’s also a time to be WEIRD and let our freak flags fly. I laugh so hard every day, with the random things my students say and do. They are always inspiring me.

Anyway, back to living through COVID-19. It really makes me think of my debut novel, AWAKEN. Not only are we all isolated in our homes, but we have to attend digital school. We interact, learn, socialize, and even work-out online. We are not allowed to go out and gather in groups for fear of getting sick. This is true in AWAKEN, although the fear is spread much deeper than sickness. It has spread to people’s cores, and they fear human kind itself–except for the rare few that want to “unplug” and bring face-to-face life back.

If you haven’t read AWAKEN, now is your chance. Its messages are timely and relevant to what is happening in the world today. I miss all of my readers and fans, and don’t worry, there are always stories brewing in my head. I will never be at a loss for words. I hope you are all healthy and safe.



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As promised, here are some of the songs that I listened to over, and over, as I wrote Don’t Kiss the Messenger. These songs all remind me of CeCe. Some of them you’ll recognize that I mentioned in the book, like the song by The Strokes (the song CeCe plays in the locker room), and Gray or Blue (a lyric she texts to Emmett). I think The Ghosts of Beverly Drive is very fitting for CeCe when you hear the lyrics. Some of them are high energy–songs that I imagined she danced/worked out to. And, YES, I will be sharing Emmett’s list soon.

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Week TWO of the Tour

Hello readers, I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend filled with Peeps, microwaved Peeps, s’mores Peeps, Peeps dipped in chocolate, and Peeps with ice cream.

Yes, you can tell what Easter candy is my favorite. I once ate 64 Peeps in one sitting. It was a contest. I won. (I also think I hallucinated).

SO, back to the Don’t Kiss the Messenger book tour. This week there will be stops at many fabulous sites. Here is a list for you to check out:


April 17, 2017 – Book Briefs – Review

April 17, 2017 – Betwixt the Pages – Review

April 17, 2017 – Read. Eat. Love. – Review

April 18, 2017 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Spotlight

April 18, 2017 – Just Because Reviews – Review

April 19, 2017 – What’s Beyond Forks? – Review

April 19, 2017 – The book slayer – Review

April 19, 2017 – BookHounds YA – Guest Post

April 19, 2017 – Perspective of a Writer – Review

April, 20, 2017 — Good Choice Reading — Review

April 20, 2017 – Swoonworthy books – Review

April 20, 2017 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

April 20, 2017 – Twirling Book Princess – Spotlight

April 20, 2017 – The Page Unbound – Spotlight

April 21, 2017 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Guest Post

April 21, 2017 – Smada’s Book Smack – Review

April 21, 2017 – Chapter by Chapter – Interview

April 21, 2017 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to these hard working reviewers who took the time to read and to help spread the word about this book. I love you all!

And, in case you haven’t read it yet, here are some buying links to DKTM: Amazon |Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Happy Reading!



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Next on the Tour:

Here are some more tour stops for Don’t Kiss the Messenger. Check out the posts from these bloggers for excerpts, reviews, and interviews. This will wrap up the rest of the week! I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend planned (or maybe have no plans, which would leave you lots of reading time). 🙂

April 13, 2017 – What Is That Book About – Spotlight

April 13, 2017 – between books – Review

April 13, 2017 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Review

April 13, 2017 – thinking to inking – Interview

April 14, 2017 – Shirley Cuypers – Review

April 14, 2017 – Susan Heim on Writing – Spotlight

April 14, 2017 – Becca’s Book Affair – Review


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Blog Tour Stops

Hey friends, today there are four stops for DKTM. Another huge thank you to these reviewers for participating. There is also a fun excerpt on the list:

April 12, 2017 – Once Upon a Book Blog – Spotlight and excerpt

April 12, 2017 – Sasha Says – Review

April 12, 2017 – – Review

April 12, 2017 – Waiting for Wentworth – Review 


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More on the Way:

You can read it now!!  Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Kobo

KR_EHS1_DontKisstheMessenger FINAL COVER

Thank you to all of the awesome people who are spreading the word about this book! I’m so excited it’s finally available. Are you liking it? Are you loving it? Let me know, I love hearing from fans:

You can also shoot me a line on twitter: @TheWeirdists

There are more fun reviews/interviews happening today at these lovely sites. Check them out:

April 11, 2017 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post

April 11, 2017 – To Be Read – Review

April 11, 2017 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Spotlight

Also, in case you missed it, I wrote a fun guest post for the blog Read.Eat.Love. last week. It features Emmett Brady! You can read it here.

For those of you who have read previous books of mine, you know I always supply playlists. I will definitely be sharing the one I compiled for DKTM, I promise! Otherwise, keep spreading the word and happy reading.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Kobo






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Happy Book Birthday!!

Today Don’t Kiss the Messenger is released into the reading world. I can’t wait for you to meet my characters and enjoy this romantic YA retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. You can order it now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or with your favorite local bookseller.

KR_EHS1_DontKisstheMessenger FINAL COVER

There are lots of fun things happening online today to celebrate the release. Check out some fun reviews and interviews that are up, and THANK YOU SO MUCH to the bloggers who are helping to spread the word:

April 10, 2017 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – Interview

April 10, 2017 – Actin’ Up with Books – Review

April 10, 2017 – Wonder of Words – Review and Interview

April 10, 2017 – The Cozy Little Book Nook – Review


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As many of you have probably seen, the cover of Don’t Kiss the Messenger has been revealed. And better yet—it’s up for pre-order. This is when I get excited—when I can see links for it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can also order it from your local independent bookseller, and thanks to my much easier new pen name, you can remember how to spell it. It’s finally hitting me that this BOOK IS COMING OUT ON APRIL 10th!

KR_EHS1_DontKisstheMessenger FINAL COVER

Don’t Kiss the Messenger is a modern day retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. I stayed fairly true to the story (basing it more closely off of the movie adaptation, Roxanne, which is a funnier, lighter retelling). So, if you’re familiar with the story and you want to read a modern YA twist, where Cyrano’s character is a girl, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

A lot of people have been asking me, why did you write this book? There are hundreds of retellings, why choose this one? Well, I’ll be answering that in a guest post for a blog tour coming up, but I can tell you that this story is one of my favorite romances of all time (and I’m always a sucker for a good romance). I have always connected to Charlie (Cyrano’s character in Roxanne). He’s quirky, he’s a loner, and he doesn’t really seem to fit in anywhere. Man, that was me in high school. I tried to play off my sensitivity with a tough girl persona, stomping around in combat boots, but inside I was complete mush. I noticed every stare, every glance. Words cut into me like knives. I was deeply insecure.

But the thing I love about Charlie, (and Cyrano) is the underdog story line. Charlie, with wit and humor, goes after the things he wants. Despite his huge nose and the looks and judgments he faces, he realizes that he doesn’t have to change in order to win the girl. The girl who falls for him will not only be able to see past his flaws, she will love him all the more for having them.

I feel like Cyrano’s story is universal. We might not all have a huge nose (or in CeCe Edmond’s case, a scar on the right side of our face). But we all have flaws. We all harbor insecurities. And whether these are internal or external, I think we’re all a little bit afraid of being judged or mocked. But at the end of the day, the people that are worth our time and our energy will love us all the more because of our imperfections.

So, there you have it. The inspiration behind DKTM. I’ll have more news and blog tour dates coming SOON.

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10 Things about Don’t Kiss the Messenger

  1. It is a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac and its lighter, funnier, film adaptation, Roxanne.
  2. Roxanne is one of my favorite romance comedies of all times. I’ve seen it about five hundred times.
  3. I have wanted to write this YA retelling (in which I made Cyrano’s character a girl) for about ten years. Even while I was writing the Awaken and First Comes Love series, this book has been in the back of my head.
  4. The main character, CeCe Edmonds, can be described as bad-ass, sassy and strong. She has a disfiguring scar on the right side of her face from a car accident when she was ten.
  5. Emmett Brady can be described as old school, old fashioned, and intense. He is a senior football transfer from Pennsylvania (and an aspiring music major).
  6. Over twenty-five songs or musicians are referenced in this book.
  7. It comes out on APRIL 10th!!!!!!!
  8. Tammara Webber, the NYT bestselling author of Easy calls it “Unputdownably Romantic!”
  9. It combines my favorite elements in a book: slow burn romance, music, sports, strong-willed characters, comedy, a touch of angst, and the unpredictability and uncontrollable fate of falling in love.
  10. CeCe’s story is about accepting yourself for who you are, instead of changing yourself in order to be accepted.

P.S. This book is written under my new pen name, Katie Ray. I’m honestly not trying to confuse you. I’m trying to make it easier to find my books.

Stay tuned for excerpts and news, plus a cover reveal, coming soon!




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Now, this is exciting. The final edits are done, the final proofs have been submitted, and now I can start sharing news about this book coming out in April. The first piece of news is a title. Originally this book was titled MESSAGE ME, but we wanted something that hinted more at the story inside. We worked on titles like, PRETTY WORDS, MY DIGITAL ROMANCE, THE FILL-IN GIRLFRIEND or THE VIRTUAL GIRLFRIEND. Nothing was sticking. Then, my awesome sister came up with DON’T KISS THE MESSENGER. I sent it off to my publisher’s and they loved it. So, now you have it. The title for my next book:


Obviously, it plays off of the famous statement “Don’t shoot the messenger.” In other words, the messenger is simply the person relaying information back and forth. They are not the person behind the message. Get it? It definitely sets up the plot points in this book. Here’s a synopsis that the marketing team put together:

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Just to answer an immediate question, yes, it is based off of Cyrano de Bergerac and it’s film adaptation Roxanne. I’ll save that explanation for another post. For now, you can add it to your list on Goodreads and start to spread the word!

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