9 October 2014

Damsel Distressed Tour & Review

Damsel Distressed
by Kelsey Macke

Coming Oct 14th by Spencer Hill Contemporary

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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.

Buy Links:

Imogen Unlocked Track Listing:

1. Heavy
2. No Goodbye
3. Something About
4. Sinking
5. Don't Wake Me Up
6. Let Me Go
7. My Strength
8. Unseen
9. Always Speak Too Late
10. The End is Just the Beginning
11. Breathe Easy
12. Edge of the Fall

CD Blurb:

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. 

Author Spotlight: 

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.

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Official Damsel Distressed Website

I received a copy from Spencer Hill (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I Say: I'm a big fan of retelling fairy-tales but unless the author approaches these stories from a new angle they can become a bit predictable. Thankfully this isn't the case with Damsel Distressed as Kelsey Macke tackles the Cinderella narrative in a different manner. Now before you comment on how the evil-stepsister narrative isn't exactly a new approach, the manner in which Macke handles it is!

MC Gen (Imogen) is trying to cope with her father being away, her overly happy stepmother always being around and her bratty, yet beautiful stepsister Ella Cinder moving in. 

The story covers far more than your average retelling and focuses on some heavy topics. Gen is struggling and suffers from some pretty intense psychological problems. I loved Gen because she's actually really funny. Her POV is so well written that I could visualise her and felt really bad for situation. Damsel Distressed is really sad and complicated, but it's also hopeful and funny. Gen is the outsider - she's overweight and insecure. She's also really focused on her problems and remaining unhappy. 

The secondary characters were brilliant. Gen's friends made me smile and I liked how supportive and accepting they were. Gen's best friend Grant deserves a medal for demonstrating extreme patience. He's everything a teenage guy should be; sweet, supportive and non-judgemental. He also rocks some pretty awesome slogan shirts!

The book also comes with an interesting interactive element - In the eBook or online you can follow pictures and links to Kelsey Macke's band where you can access special content and songs designed to match Gen's story.

4 Stars in my Sky!

A giant prize pack for ONE winner, consisting of: Signed copy of Damsel Distressed. Copy of the CD, Imogen Unlocked. Posters and buttons. Artist cards!
(US Only)


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