A self-published author's diary, Books, cover, Giveaway, writing

The One With The Giveaways: win a book by L. Penelope and a book by Mona Shroff…

As part of my “A Self-Published Author’s Diary” podcast, I am chatting with authors on Fridays. And whenever possible, I am giving away a copy of one of their books. On Friday, April 30th, I talked with award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author L. Penelope and this coming Friday (May 7th), I will share my conversation with contemporary romance author Mona Shroff.

My newsletter subscribers automatically get 5 entries in each giveaway, so don’t forget to subscribe (readers’ newsletter or weekly self-published author’s emails) Plus you’ll help me choose the cover for #TheLeftoverBride…

**** Special pre-order price of $0.99 Amazon, iTunesKobo.****
Add it on Goodreads.

A second chance romance set during the holiday season in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: full of laughter and heartwarming moments (and some sexy moments), checklists, family dynamics, a stubborn cat, and a rescue dog.

All Sorcha O’Connor wants for Christmas is for her life to turn into a Hallmark movie—but sexier.

Ryan Sawyer has a few things on his wishlist. First, he wants to stay away from Swans Cove. Second, he wants his NHL career back. And third, he wants Sorcha. Always has, always will.

Enter the giveaways…

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

  • Giveaway to win one of Mona Shroff’s books
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

    Follow and subscribe to my “A self-published author’s diary” podcast:

    “A self-published author’s diary” is available now!

    The behind-the-scenes of self-publishing and writing with Elodie Nowodazkij, author of first kisses, second chances, things that scare the crap out of her and things that make her laugh out loud. Elodie’s been self-publishing since 2014.

    You can listen to it on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more

    Ep. 19 – Getting your self-published books into the French-speaking market: a case study (mine) and finding a translator. And #TheLeftoverBride almost has a cover… A self-published author's diary

    Today, I'm sharing some of what I've learned from my own data and experience when it comes to the French-speaking market for self-published books (in this case, mine): what vendors generate sells and revenue, what price point do I use, recouping investment. Before that, I also add a bit of info shared by the actress portraying Umma in Kim's Convenience in regards her crucial input for the food element to keep the authentacity (follow-up from last week's episode). I mention the following articles: Publishing Perspectives: As France is Fêted at Frankfurt, French Literary Agents Take Stock – https://publishingperspectives.com/2017/10/france-literary-agents-frankfurt-book-fair/ The Creative Penn: Tips For Translation, Self-Publishing, And Marketing In Foreign Languages With Nadine Mutas: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2021/05/03/translation-and-marketing-in-foreign-languages/ The Creative Penn: How to Find the Right International Markets for Your Book: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/01/23/international-markets/ I'm also explaining how I find translators to translate my books into French and share the job posting and questions that I I posted on Upwork for the translation of #TheLeftoverBride summary and title.  I'm also talking about making progress in my revision and the fact that I almost have a cover for #TheLeftoverBride. I've designed two different covers and I'm asking my readers in my readers' newsletter to help me choose. 🙂 Instagram for the podcast: http://www.instagram.com/aselfpublishedauthorsdiary YouTube channel for the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJih-rMFJv6IwlV4eeWUUIg  Join my readers' newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website Don't hesitate to ask me a question: https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij/message  As always don't hesitate to check my website out: http://www.elodienowodazkij.com — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij/support
    1. Ep. 19 – Getting your self-published books into the French-speaking market: a case study (mine) and finding a translator. And #TheLeftoverBride almost has a cover…
    2. Ep. 18 – Selling my books directly to readers, my expectations and that happy "I got that one paragraph" feeling from revising #TheLeftoverBride.
    3. Ep. 17 – Feature Friday: Talking with Ines Johnson about her success in self-publishing, how writing screenplays has influenced her writing, pen names going "wide" and advertising.
    4. Ep. 16 – Re-branding my Gavert City series with new covers…and doubts and making progress (+ answering questions from listeners :-))
    5. Ep. 15 – Feature Friday: Talking with Megan Carter on how acting may influence her writing, the similarities between acting and publishing, and roller coasters ( + Giveaway)

    As always, thank you for reading and listening!

    Follow me on Instagram – Bookbub – Facebook – Twitter – GoodreadsTikTok

    #THELEFTOVERBRIDE, Books, cover, writing

    Help me choose the cover for #TheLeftoverBride…

    You may have heard (literally because I have a podcast…:-)) that I’m releasing #TheLeftoverBride on August 18th, 2021… #TheLeftoverBride is already available for pre-order at $0.99 (it is a special pre-order price). You can pre-order it on: Amazon, iTunesKobo. And you can also already add it on Goodreads.

    **** Special pre-order price of $0.99 ****

    A second chance romance set during the holiday season in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: full of laughter and heartwarming moments (and some sexy moments), checklists, family dynamics, a stubborn cat, and a rescue dog.

    All Sorcha O’Connor wants for Christmas is for her life to turn into a Hallmark movie—but sexier.

    Ryan Sawyer has a few things on his wishlist. First, he wants to stay away from Swans Cove. Second, he wants his NHL career back. And third, he wants Sorcha. Always has, always will.

    Do you want to help me choose the cover?

    I have two versions of the cover and in a couple of weeks, I will ask my newsletter subscribers to help me choose...If you’d like to help me choose, just subscribe to my readers’ newsletter before May 15th.

    You’ll also receive exclusive access to a bonus content page with bonus scenes, audiobook excerpts and more!

    A little sneak peek…

    I’ve shared a few excerpts already (including on Goodreads in my status updates).

    The first sentences…

    “Dear unknown-reader of the future, or alien archiving information on the human race (I have so many questions for you), Christmas is in the air. Well, not Christmas per se. But buttery apples and cinnamon and maybe ginger?”

    Meet Ryan…aka #HockeyHottie:

    In the past year, I got caught on video bitching about Stevens and how he’s handling the team. I punched my “sperm asshole donor” at a black-tie event. And I was involved in a fight that almost kicked our team out of the NHL.”

    Trouble seems to follow me. Or maybe, as Sorcha told me once, it’s not that trouble follows me; it is that I am trouble. But the way she said it all breathy and with that secret sexy smile of hers? It didn’t seem terrible then.

    Oh and did you know I have a podcast?

    “A self-published author’s diary” is available now!

    The behind-the-scenes of self-publishing and writing with Elodie Nowodazkij, author of first kisses, second chances, things that scare the crap out of her and things that make her laugh out loud. Elodie’s been self-publishing since 2014.

    You can listen to it on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more

    Ep. 19 – Getting your self-published books into the French-speaking market: a case study (mine) and finding a translator. And #TheLeftoverBride almost has a cover… A self-published author's diary

    Today, I'm sharing some of what I've learned from my own data and experience when it comes to the French-speaking market for self-published books (in this case, mine): what vendors generate sells and revenue, what price point do I use, recouping investment. Before that, I also add a bit of info shared by the actress portraying Umma in Kim's Convenience in regards her crucial input for the food element to keep the authentacity (follow-up from last week's episode). I mention the following articles: Publishing Perspectives: As France is Fêted at Frankfurt, French Literary Agents Take Stock – https://publishingperspectives.com/2017/10/france-literary-agents-frankfurt-book-fair/ The Creative Penn: Tips For Translation, Self-Publishing, And Marketing In Foreign Languages With Nadine Mutas: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2021/05/03/translation-and-marketing-in-foreign-languages/ The Creative Penn: How to Find the Right International Markets for Your Book: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/01/23/international-markets/ I'm also explaining how I find translators to translate my books into French and share the job posting and questions that I I posted on Upwork for the translation of #TheLeftoverBride summary and title.  I'm also talking about making progress in my revision and the fact that I almost have a cover for #TheLeftoverBride. I've designed two different covers and I'm asking my readers in my readers' newsletter to help me choose. 🙂 Instagram for the podcast: http://www.instagram.com/aselfpublishedauthorsdiary YouTube channel for the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJih-rMFJv6IwlV4eeWUUIg  Join my readers' newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website Don't hesitate to ask me a question: https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij/message  As always don't hesitate to check my website out: http://www.elodienowodazkij.com — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij/support
    1. Ep. 19 – Getting your self-published books into the French-speaking market: a case study (mine) and finding a translator. And #TheLeftoverBride almost has a cover…
    2. Ep. 18 – Selling my books directly to readers, my expectations and that happy "I got that one paragraph" feeling from revising #TheLeftoverBride.
    3. Ep. 17 – Feature Friday: Talking with Ines Johnson about her success in self-publishing, how writing screenplays has influenced her writing, pen names going "wide" and advertising.
    4. Ep. 16 – Re-branding my Gavert City series with new covers…and doubts and making progress (+ answering questions from listeners :-))
    5. Ep. 15 – Feature Friday: Talking with Megan Carter on how acting may influence her writing, the similarities between acting and publishing, and roller coasters ( + Giveaway)

    As always, thank you for reading and listening!

    Follow me on Instagram – Bookbub – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads 

    A self-published author's diary, Books

    Guess who has a podcast? And a new book!

    Guess who has a podcast? Me! I do. 🙂 And guess who is ready to share more about her next book?

    Me! Yep, I have a podcast! And I am about to share more information about my next book.

    I am so very excited to share with all of you my very new podcast: A Self-Published Author’s Diary.

    You can listen to it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more!

    Please subscribe, rate and review, it really helps.

    It already has several episodes available…including an interview…with…The Chemical Engineer!

    My podcast also a trailer…which you can watch below!

    On today’s episode I not only interview The Chemical Engineer, I also share about Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Awareness Week and talk about the Ulman Foundation and their conversation with Tamika Felder. They talked bout her experience with cervical cancer and what led her to inspire others to share their stories as well. They also talked about racial disparities in healthcare and other factors that impact AYA cancer care and will continue to share part of that discussion on their Instagram throughout the month. The Ulman Foundation means a lot to us as Megan, Director, Service & Care Delivery at the Ulman Foundation, was part of our support system during my treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

    If you’d like to know more about the behind-the-scenes of launching a podcast, you can read one my recent blog posts on the topic (or listen to it on my podcast). And don’t forget about signing up for my weekly emails about self-publishling if you’re interested in receiving the links and the topics I am discussing in the podcast directly in your emails.

    ANNNNNNDDDD BOOOOOOOK NEWS!

    I might be *slightly* excited about this.

    Are you ready to (a) read more about my upcoming novel #THELEFTOVERBRIDE, (b) pre-order it maybe (you can do so on Amazon , Kobo, iTunes, (c) Add it to Goodreads, (d) Join the first readers group (just subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll send more info in the coming weeks)? 

    I have set the pre-order date for August 18th, 2021. Why? Because it’s my birthday. And I’m going to turn 40. And I feel like releasing a book would be a pretty awesome way to celebrate. I’ve started writing this book in December 2019, not long after my autologous stem cell transplant. It has been a book that has been taking me so long to write and revise. It’s going to be the first book (original) that I’m releasing since September 2019. 

    And as an indie author, I get to decide my release date. Plus, that will give me time to draft the second one in the series and the prequel short stories and start drafting MISS ME, MISS ME NOT (the story of Nadia and Gabriel will be coming your way soon-ish).

    Here’s the summary for #THELEFTOVERBRIDE:

    A second chance romance set during the holiday season in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: full of laughter and heartwarming moments, checklists, family dynamics, a stubborn cat, and a rescue dog.

    All Sorcha O’Connor wants for Christmas is for her life to turn into a Hallmark movie—but sexier.
    Ryan Sawyer has a few things on his wishlist. First, he wants to stay away from Swans Cove. Second, he wants his NHL career back. And third, he wants Sorcha. Always has, always will.

    When wedding dress designer Sorcha O’Connor got stranded at the altar and went viral as #TheLeftoverBride, she lost everything: her fiancé, her thriving business, her glowing reputation, and her dreams. To forget the upcoming first anniversary of that fateful day, Sorcha is ticking items off her “31 Things to Do Before the 31st” list and creating new dress designs—working day and night to get her life back on track. Not on her list? Falling for her former best friend —at one point more than best friend—hockey star Ryan Sawyer. Especially since he’s now known as the #HockeyHottie; Sorcha’s got enough hashtags for a lifetime.

    Ryan Sawyer skated out of Swans Cove right out of high school. And since then, he stuck to the one item on his wishlist he could control. He busted his ass, making sure he always had the perfect excuse for avoiding Swans Cove: hockey. But thanks to his injured shoulder, rumors about his uncertain future at the Washington Angels, and his mother’s birthday, he’s back for a quick visit. His publicist was crystal clear—Ryan’s got to lay low and avoid stirring up trouble or risk losing his spot on the team. But he can’t stop thinking about Sorcha, the redhead who knows him better than even his therapist. Ryan wasn’t there for her when she needed him most, and for that, she might want to shred him with her dressmaker’s shears, though… Maybe he could just pass by and say hello?

    When Sorcha’s former #RunawayGroom becomes the Most Coveted Bachelor in America, virtual eyes focus on Sorcha again. This time, Ryan’s not going to bolt—even when Sorcha blurts out on national TV that both she and Ryan are working on their so-called “Happy Lists”…together.

    Will the spotlight finally work in Sorcha and Ryan’s favor? Or will their past—and their hashtags—get in the way of their Happily Ever After?

    A week after it releases, I will move it to Kindle Unlimited, so make sure you pre-order it on your preferred platform.

    Do you want to to read and review an early copy? Just sign up for my readers’ newsletter and I’ll send more information in the coming weeks.

    As always thank you for reading!

    Bookbub –Goodreads – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website
    Listen to my podcast

    revising, rom-com, writing

    The One With The Love List…

    Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

    If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

    What is a love list? Honestly, you could do a love list for a whole lot of different things, but this one is about my manuscript. 🙂

    Once upon a time, YA Highway (remember, YA Highway?)’s prompt for Road Trip Wednesday was: “What’s on your Work-in-Progress Love List?”

    It was a summer day, forever ago (on August 22nd, 2012), when writers around the globe shared their love lists for their own manuscript. I did, too. Even if I did apparently forget.

    Full disclosure: I actually remembered Katy Upperman’s love lists (for KISSING MAX HOLDEN which was then called CROSS MY HEART and another book which is full of hearbreak and emotions), which is how I found my way back to Googling YA Highway RTW Love List, re-read Dahlia Adler’s Love List for her manuscript which popped up in my Google search, and then re-found my own from August 2012.

    That YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt was based on a guest post by contemporary young adult author  Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog.

    Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling! 

    And as I’m about to go back into finishing drafting/revising my current work-in-progress, I feel like writing down this manuscript’s love list (in addition to my Pinterest board) will be helpful.

    This is my first adult rom-com and I’ve only been sharing snippets of it with my critique partners.

    So, here we go.

    💕Love List 💕

    Second chance romance.
    Bucket Lists.
    Lace. And tule. And wedding dresses.
    Vintage clothing.
    Old Bay.
    Swans’ Cove.
    Maryland Eastern Shore Little Town.
    Holiday season.
    Laughter.
    Animal shelter.
    Hockey.
    Therapy.
    Ice rink.
    Self-confidence.
    Therapy.
    Friendships.
    Giggles.
    The sweet smell of cinammon apple pie baking in the oven.
    The flavor of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon.
    The sound of the waves.
    Family dinners.
    Support.
    Chemistry.
    Scenes full of sexy moments…including sizzling sexy moments and laughing sexy moments and full-of-emotions sexy moments.
    and so much more ;-)…

    Do you have a love list for your manuscript? Or maybe for your job? Or your day? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. 🙂

    Oh, and if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

    Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

    If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

    personal

    How to pronounce “Elodie Nowodazkij”?

    I’m used to explaining how to pronounce my name: both my first and last name. I’ve done it for years.

    A few weeks ago, Trish Doller tweeted about how helpful it would be for authors to have a pronunciation guide for their name.

    I had been meaning to do that for a long time.

    Some days, I do believe it would have been easier to go with a pen name for more reasons than one. Other days, I’m happy I decided to publish under my name. Lots of pros and cons. But I digress. Today’s post is about how to pronounce “Elodie Nowodazkij.”

    “Elodie” is a common French name. And I may just have spent ten minutes looking at a graph showing its popularity per years. According to data extracted by several websites from l’Insee (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies), I can share with you that there were 83 babies named “Elodie” in 1900, while 7118 babies were named “Elodie” in 1981. And I was one of them. It actually reached a peak in 1988. So you could say my parents started a trend. 😉 Based on this data, 58 babies were named Elodie in 2018.

    Outside of France, it is not a very common name at all. I usually tell people, it’s like, “Melody without the ‘m’.”

    For my last name, “Nowodazkij”, well it’s harder because one doesn’t pronounce all letters. The “j” at the end is silent for example. And for the little story, it’s spelled like this because it was transcribed that way from Cyrillic to German when my husband immigrated to Germany when he was a kid.

    So, for those of you who are wondering how to pronounce “Elodie Nowodazkij”, you can listen to me below saying it (or you can click here).

    At some point, I was thinking of starting a 5-minute podcast on “How do you pronounce…?” And ask authors to tell me one story about their name.

    I might still do that…

    Thanks for reading (and listening)!

    Uncategorized

    Did you know you can recommend a book to your library or pre-order a book and receive pretty cool things?

    There are pretty amazing books coming out in August. Let’s face it: There’s always a lot of amazing books coming out 🙂

    Some authors organize pre-order / library request campaigns. Basically, all you have to do is either pre-order a book (pre-orders are really helpful to authors) or recommend it to your library (you

    And recommending the library purchases a book doesn’t cost you anything (and you can do it from home too) so if you’re on a tight book-buying budget, you still can support an author and read amazing books and get free stuff.

    Here are two on-going campaigns for books coming out in August I’m very very excited about.

    • CRY OF METAL & BONE by L. Penelope (On Sale August 11th – pre-order/library request campaign runs unti 8/11)

    I absolutely loved the first book in this series. It took me out of a reading slump I was in. And the CRY OF METAL & BONE (on sale August 11th) just got a starred review from Booklist!

    All info on L. Penelope’s website: https://lpenelope.com/2020/07/cry-of-metal-bone-pre-order-campaign/

    • NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest Pre-order campaign (also includes library recommendations)

    I just bought Kristina’s first book I WANNA SEE WHERE YOU ARE after seeing it recommended by Nic Stone. I mean: ballet, road trip and romance? Plus that cover? Gorgeous.

    Kristina’s second book “NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU” is coming out on August 25th and it also sounds so so good: “A YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places.

    All info on Kristina’s Forest’s website: https://www.kristinaforest.com/ntify-preorder-campaign

    Did you pre-order those books? Recommended them to your libraries?

    Let me know in the comments 🙂

    Uncategorized

    Thank you! $360 raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society…

    Thank you SO MUCH! I’ve just realized that I forgot to update you all here on the results of my TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT campaign.

    For all orders of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT in September, I donated $1 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I raised $90 that way…but this was matched by the wonderful Sam, Katy and Katie, meaning we’ve raised $360 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

    Again, thank you SO much! ❤

    Uncategorized

    It’s my book birthday…and a long note from me to you (or maybe a PSA)…

    Time to share the author’s note from this little book that means so much to me…

    It’s my book birthday. TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT is my 8th book. And this book has been with me in some pretty difficult times and yet helped me move forward. And what better way to celebrate this book birthday than to hopefully raise some awareness and share my own experience to maybe help someone else.

    Yesterday I shared my book release campaign. I’m donating $1 per purchase to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the entire month of September for #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth and my friend (and very talented author) Katy Upperman is matching those donations up to $100. And while I was writing I was thinking on how even though cancer doesn’t define me, it’s not like I can simply wish it away. I can enjoy the moments and be present and sometimes I wonder if I talk too much about it. But, you know what, even though it doesn’t define me, it’s part of my daily life. I see the scars. And I feel it in the neuropathy in my feet. I see it on the calendar as I start mobilization in about 10 days. I also do a lot of other things. And I can talk about a lot of other things. It’s a balance. And it’s important to me. It’s also important to me to share what I wrote in the author’s note of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT.

    So, I thought that on my book birthday, I’ll share it with all of you.

    So here we go….

    All my books feel special to me. But this one? Those characters who have become real in my imagination? They feel extra special. Maybe because there is so much of me in them. Maybe because they have helped me move forward. Maybe because I am so proud of this book.

    They belong to you now, but for a while they were only in my mind. I started writing this book what feels like forever ago, even though it’s been maybe over a year or maybe two years. It’s kind of a blur.

    I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2017. After months of feeling tired. After months of coughing. After months of backache.

    It all started with shooting pain in my shoulder and arm after drinking a sip of alcohol. It was so bad that I started taking Tylenol if I knew I was going to have a glass. It was the holiday season. And I do enjoy a glass here and there and really didn’t want to miss drinking Champagne on New Year’s Eve. I googled my symptoms as I do and I found that having pain while drinking alcohol could be an early symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I thought I felt something underneath my arm too, but it wasn’t always there. My mind went on overdrive. And did I mention I have anxiety?

    Since the pain wasn’t going away and my upper back pain was actually intensifying, I went to my primary care physician at the end of 2016. But he basically told me that he’d never heard of the pain with the alcohol symptom for lymphoma, and that based on his physical evaluation he really didn’t think I should be too worried. He dismissed my concerns and told me I should do physical therapy for my upper back because it could very well be muscle weakness. And me having anxiety, I thought, Okay…my heightened concerns stem from my over-imaginative mind, so I’ll do the physical therapy and see. He also told me I could do bloodwork but I figured if he was really worried and not just appeasing my worries, he’d tell me otherwise. I didn’t do my bloodwork (which could have very well shown nothing at that stage because Hodgkin’s lymphoma is funny like that).

    I did months of physical therapy. I changed physical therapists so that it was closer to my work (I was teaching German at a wonderful community college then). None of them asked me to undergo x-rays. I went back to my primary care physician because of a lingering cough in August 2017. Unfortunately it was a different one and she dismissed my concerns. She also didn’t notice I had lost weight. I hadn’t noticed either but it was summer and I was wearing clothes that fit. I did have to buy new pairs of jeans but I figured it was because I had been more active. After all, I was doing physical therapy.

    But my cough continued. My back pain was keeping me up at night. I was feeling like crap.

    And I remember driving to work one day, coughing and yelling in my car that no matter what was making me cough, I was going to be okay. I knew. Deep inside, I knew there was more going on with this cough.

    I started jogging again which in retrospect and after finding out what was going on in my body makes me wonder how I managed to run. Granted it wasn’t fast or long, but still…

    I decided to continue working out too. But one day, I felt dizzy while working out. I blamed it on not drinking enough water.

    I was teaching two classes and writing and doing a thousand things as always. But one day, I felt dizzy teaching, which I blamed on maybe not eating enough. I started eating more snacks despite the fact that I wasn’t hungry. I continued working and writing and telling myself it was okay. Because I went to see my doctor.

    I had an itch and a rash during that time too, but I also have sensitive skin so what are the chances?

    …Until I found a lump above my chest in early fall of 2017. And then I went back to see my primary care physician and everything went very fast after that.

    By the time I got diagnosed I had a very large mass in my chest, which was now basically poking out of my chest wall, hence the lump. It was such a large mass that the thoracic surgeon who did my biopsy told me I shouldn’t sleep laying down because the mass could be a risk to my trachea. That was scary. I remember sitting with my husband on our bed and we were crossing our fingers that the surgeon would call me back to let me know the biopsy showed Hodgkin’s and not some other cancer which had way less of a good prognosis.

    I laughed and reassured my family when I got the diagnosis. Because we got the news we wanted. But still it was hard. And it got even harder.

    There was a time we weren’t quite sure if I’d still be alive today. And I am. And I am thriving.

    And yes, I’m still in treatment today. Hodgkin’s is a very treatable cancer but sometimes it takes longer when you’re not in the majority of patients who are cured with first-line treatment. I didn’t talk about cancer much online at first and I didn’t tell many people, because I thought I was going to be part of the large percentage of patients that go into remission after their first-line treatment.

    But then I didn’t.

    And then I had experiences which plainly sucked. I could probably write a book about fighting for your rights, fighting to be heard, fighting for your care as a cancer patient.

    I remember telling one of my oncologists that I was worried about getting a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter which is a form of intravenous access) because the mass was narrowing my SVC (superior vena cava), and that oncologist dismissed me. I asked him twice. I asked the nurse who told me, “Well, if they say it’s possible, we should try.” My husband wasn’t in the room with me and it was painful and I was scared and the nurse kept on hitting a snag and then my heart galloped and she said, “I’m never doing this to you again. If they want you to go through it again, they need to send you to intervention radiology.”

    When I met with that oncologist again (who wasn’t my primary oncologist but higher up), he smiled, raised his hand, and walked back out of the room. Like it was nothing. Like that wasn’t traumatizing. I mean, granted it was nothing like a bone marrow biopsy, but still…(that’s another story). That same oncologist told me once the first chemo didn’t work as well as it usually does, “Now you’ve become interesting.” Oh and I could tell you so much more. Like how he dismissed a treatment that was not coming from his “group” as inefficient and yet our third opinion from MSK saw it as possibility because “studies have shown it works.”

    He’s no longer my oncologist for these reasons and many others. We trusted the Fellow we had, but that same oncologist who had dismissed my concerns kept on pushing for one treatment plan, making it seem like it was our one and only option. We weren’t so sure about their treatment plan forward, and when we asked questions, we didn’t get many answers. It was a very hard time. I couldn’t talk without getting out of breath. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t walk without getting dizzy. And I was scared of going through that treatment plan still feeling the way I did. Both the oncologist we saw at MSK and the one we saw at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center gave us hope again.

    And hope is so important.

    I’m not going to go into details because this is a note from me to you, not another book ☺ Just like I’m not going to go into details on the ER visits, and the neuropathy and dealing with health insurance and billing and all that.

    I’m now treated at the Greenebaum Cancer Center and I’m very grateful to my team there. As I’m writing this, the plan is for me to go through an autologous stem-cell transplant and yes, I’m very scared about the entire process, but I have a wonderful team and I advocate for myself and I’m heard and I feel in control of the things I can be in control of and I learn to deal with the things I can’t necessarily control.

    As a cancer patient, I’m so grateful to the Greenebaum Cancer Center for truly being an comprehensive cancer center. My sessions with Vicky Wilson have helped me tremendously. I’m less anxious, less stressed. I know that it’s okay to not always be okay. And I owe it to her.

    And after switching chemo, I found a way to create different moments, like organize a fundraiser for associations who help young adult facing cancer. And one of my highlights? Jenna Fisher (who I loved in The Office but would watch in pretty much anything) not only donated but she also tweeted at me ☺

    Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of hard moments, but there were also a lot, a lot of good ones throughout treatment. And therapy helps!

    I’m very grateful to my oncologist, Dr. Aaron Rapoport, for letting me be a part of the team and especially for giving us hope—and for never making me feel like I didn’t matter. To the nurses (especially Liz and Meeghan and the infusion nurses) and Megan (from the Ulman Fund) and Nancy (Survivorship Navigator) who always manage to put a smile on my face and who also sometimes just let me cry when I need to cry.

    I may be tearing up writing this author’s note.

    If you don’t know what to do for someone who’s close to you, who is going through treatment, is in remission or might have relapsed, or got diagnosed recently, sometimes you just need to be there. Organize a meal train (thank you to the Chemical Engineer’s boss for starting one for us and for his colleagues for keeping us fed during the months of chemo treatment). Send a card. Mow their lawn. Text them. Call them. Connect with them. Even if they’re far away. Don’t forget them. And it’s okay to talk about something else. And it’s okay to ask about it. Everyone reacts differently. And not everyone has the same experience with chemo and treatment. But I think not feeling like you’re left behind is important. And when you’re going through treatment, you may be too tired or too sick or too vulnerable to be the one keeping that connection. So, reaching out without always expecting an answer really helps.

     Sometimes this cancer treatment thing takes a long time, and it’s important to not lose that connection.

    And, if you’re reading this author’s note, I urge you to advocate for yourself, to not let your anxiety (if you’re prone to it) be used as an excuse as to why you are feeling strange or sick. Sure, it can be related to anxiety but you do need to be checked out.

    You need to be listened to.

    You need to have your medical team take your concerns seriously.

    Because some days, I do wonder if maybe the first-line treatment would have worked if we had caught it before the mass went through my chest wall. And I’ll never be sure so I don’t dwell on it. But still…it’s important that your worries do not get dismissed.

    If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, then my wish for you is to be able to also find a professional who can help you get through the tough moments and who can give you the tools you need.

    And you know what else? Enjoy the little moments.

    Create those little moments too, because sometimes you have to readjust. But those moments, you can still find them. A ray of sunshine. A laugh. A good book. A conversation.

    Those moments? They truly are the big ones ☺

    I probably should add the “Buy links” here but you can find all those in my release campaign post here.

    If you’ve read that far, you can also share that release month campaign by retweeting Katy 🙂

    or retweeting Katy,

    Or sharing this post…

    But mainly, what you can really do is spread awareness and advocate for yourself and others if you can and enjoy the little moments.

    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Uncategorized

    Trust Me, Trust Me Not release month campaign (exclusive content, giveaway and #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth donation)

    Add TMTMN to your Goodreads – Bookmark TMTMN on BookBub
    Request your library to add an e-copy to Overdrive
    Pre-order (before 09/05) or buy the e-book (on & after 09/05) on Amazon  Kobo –iTunes – B&N  Google Play )
    Buy a paperback copy on Amazon
    .

    I started writing TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT what seems like forever ago. And yet, I “only” started writing it in March 2018. I was still undergoing chemo for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma then. I was in my 5th month of chemo then. I’m still in treatment today.

    MSKCC’s website explains: “Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) is an uncommon form of lymphoma. It is distinguished by the presence of large abnormal tumor cells called Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells. Although Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both children and adults, it is usually diagnosed in young adults between 20 and 34. ” As per the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, in 2019, there are expected to be 82,310 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed in the US (8,110 cases of HL, 74,200 cases of NHL). You can find some of the symptoms here.

    This book has been with me through chemo treatments, ER visits, a clean scan, a not-so clean scan, a relapse, spleen biopsy, radiation, another so-so scan, a more worrisome scan, a bronchoscopy, a mediastinoscopy, immunotherapy treatment, a better scan, the decision to undergo an autologous stem cell transplant (more information from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center about Blood & Marrow Transplants),

    So, yep, this book has been with me through quite a bit.

    And since its release is on September 5th, during Lymphoma Awareness month, I decided to run a release month campaign to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

    For every purchase of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT during the month of September, I’ll donate $1 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

    Plus, when you order and fill out the form below, you’ll receive an exclusive epilogue and you’ll also be entered in a $25 gift card to your favorite bookstore giveaway.

    You can pre-order the e-book before September 5th or you can purchase it starting September 5th and during the rest of the month, It is available on all e-retailers. And you can also get a paperback copy on Amazon.

    To receive the exclusive epilogue from Lacey’s point-of-view and be entered in the giveaway, you can simply fill out this form.

    You can get the e-book on all online retailers (Amazon–  Kobo –iTunes – B&N  Google Play), and the paperback version on Amazon.

    If you’d like, you can also add it on Goodreads, BookBub, and request it on Overdrive (for your library)

    • How can I help spread the word?

    You can share this post with your friends or on social media. You can share a picture of your order or of the book. I’ve prepared a tweet and a text you can use. And below there are the pictures of the giveaway in different sizes…but your own pictures of the book might actually work better 🙂

    • Spread the word on Twitter

    Click on TweetThis to tweet the following text: Grab your copy of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT now! For each purchase of the book in September, @enowodazkij will donate $1 to @LLSusa for #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth – Plus, there’s a giveaway and exclusive content. All details here: https://elodienowodazkij.com/tmtmn/

    Tweet: Grab your copy of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT now! For each purchase of the book in September, @enowodazkij will donate $1 to @LLSusa for #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth Plus, there's a giveaway and exclusive content. All details here: https://elodienowodazkij.com/tmtmn/
    • You can share those images (your own images of the book could work better :-)): You can download them (for IG, Twitter, Facebook here )

    Thank you so much!

    Books

    TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT is available for pre-order :-)

    I couldn’t put it down!

    The suspense is awesome.

    I just realized that I didn’t do a dedicated blog announcement about this book that means so much to me…so here it goes.

    Discover Lacey & Hunter’s story in TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT, the third standalone book in the Gavert City series.

    TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT (Lacey & Hunter’s story) comes out on September 5th but you can pre-order it today! ( AmazonKoboiTunesB&N Google Play )

    Amazing picture by Lindee Robinson and design by Najla Qamber Design

    PRE-ORDER IT NOW – AmazonKoboiTunesB&N Google Play

    She thought she left the cult behind. He thought he’d always protect her. They were oh so wrong.

    Twenty-year-old Lacey Simon jumped from a building on fire to escape the cult her stepdad was leading, so college should be oh so easy. Except Lacey can’t seem to move on. Not only does she receive threatening letters, she’s also failing her classes. Fun times. Only Hunter, the firefighter who saved her from the fire and who’s been there for her ever since, reminds her that her stepdad no longer dictates her future. He tutors her in English, and he makes her laugh, blush and help her be more daring. But why does it feel like he’s only doing this to redeem himself from mistakes of his past?

    Twenty-one-year-old Hunter Harrington used to think he was invincible until a frat party turned tragic and he discovered a dead body in the pool. Ever since that day, he’s been doing his best to keep his grades up and help others. Yep, he even joined the volunteer firefighters’ college program. When he’s accused of plagiarism, he’s forced to spend more time with Lacey. Not that he minds. He’d love to get even closer. But he has secrets of his own that could destroy their relationship before it even starts. And can he really keep her safe?

    Can they trust themselves and each other enough to no longer be afraid to love and…to stay alive?