Friends, I have a very special post today. DamselDistressed is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever. You can read my gushing and praises for Kelsey Macke here.Thanks so much to Spencer Hill for organizing this event and for letting me be a part of it.
Published October 14th 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
YA > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
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.
Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.
(If you haven’t read the book, this might spoil things for you a bit.)
This is an alternate mean-girl moment that was sacrificed due to the increasingly unstable livelihood of THE TWINKIE.
My phone beeps on my bedside table.
“Are you up?” Grant’s text messages are often the first communication of my day, and I can’t help but smile as my thumbs type my reply.
“Jesus, I’m up! What are you, my mother!?”
I ignore the tiny pang of sadness that follows my word choice, and before I can even set my phone back on the table, he’s texted again.
“Heh. More like who’s your daddy?”
I roll my eyes and type back, “Pshhh. I just barfed. See you soon.”
Clearly, there’s no time for self-pity on this fine Sunday morning. I finish up my standard tech day uniform by covering my paint-crusty jeans with an old production t-shirt. My hair still has that chemical smell from the box of color I used last night. The lightish roots had been showing for a few weeks, so I re-did my whole head with my standard Starry Night. Having black hair is a self-imposed necessity for a girl who is and will forever be Completely Misunderstood.
Which is why it might be surprising that a girl who is regularly referred to as “Crazy Cakes Keegan” – by the clowns of eleventh grade – is currently lip-synching the words to “Greased Lightning.” I complete with finger-pointing choreography while packing up the rest of my bag. The tiny white headphones are too big for my ears, and always make them ache, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure that no one learns of my dark secret. My name is Imogen Keegan. And I’m obsessed with show tunes.
I head outside and walk to the driver’s side door and recoil as my foot sinks into something soft but crinkly that pops under my step.
The still wrapped, but now flattened Twinkie has squirted goo all over my shoe. Under the cream-filled carcass is a lime green post-it note covered in tiny black print.
“Imogen: Don’t park so close to my car next time – I could barely get in. Enjoy the Twinkie. I just knew a snack cake would be the surefire way to get your attention. -Ella”
I try to keep from shaking with rage but fail miserably.
Scraping my shoe along the curb, I crumple the post it, shove it in my hoodie pocket, and climb into the Grannymobile.
I pull out of the driveway (a little too fast), and turn on the radio (a little too loud). The alternative rock station is playing some Nirvana, which is no “All That Jazz,” but I can appreciate it.
It just keeps getting better because not only this book has beautiful story, it also has a beautiful soundtrack!!
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.
Imogen Unlocked Track Listing:
Don’t Wake Me Up
Let Me Go
Always Speak Too Late
The End is Just the Beginning
Edge of the Fall
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.
Have you read Damsel Distressed? What did you think? 🙂