Kristen Otte

Finding Love and Laughter through Story


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Launch Day for The Photograph!

ThePhotograph_Ebook_Final

 

Release day is here! The Photograph is now available on all major ebook platforms and in paperback!

Until June 21, The Photograph is only $2.99 in ebook form and under $10 for a paperback on the Amazon store, so pick it up now to save a couple bucks.  If you are ready to buy, scroll on down and click on the links for your platform of choice.

If you are new to the blog or a visitor, read an excerpt from the first chapter or scroll down to read the book blurb.

The Photograph was a three year-long project, so I can’t believe it is finally ready to be in the hands of readers!  Enjoy the book and leave a review after you finish reading. Thanks for all your support.

BUY NOW:

AmazoniBooks, Nook, Kobo or Smashwords.

 

On a quest for truth, one girl will find more than she bargained for.

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Brandt is excited about her six-month anniversary with her boyfriend, Brent, getting her driver’s license, and competing for a district championship in her first season on the varsity basketball team.

But when Rachel stumbles across a photograph of her parents, she can’t shake the feeling that she is meant to find her mother, whose identity is a secret her grandparents have closely guarded. All Rachel knows is that her mother disappeared around the time her father was killed in action in the Gulf War a few months after she was born.

Her discovery of the photograph sends Rachel on a search for her mother against her grandparents’ wishes and propels her life into a tailspin. She never imagines her search will reveal a series of lies that jeopardizes every important relationship in her life and ultimately lead Rachel to question her identity.

The Photograph is a contemporary young adult novel for ages 12-16 that follows Rachel’s search for her mother through the backdrop of her basketball team’s quest for its first district championship in twelve years.


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The Photograph Teaser

Release day is almost here! To help you get excited about The Photograph, here is an excerpt from the first chapter.

Rachel walked through the front door into the living room. A huge banner that read Congratulations hung there with balloons attached on both sides. She walked toward the kitchen and spotted Papa and Nana reading at the table. Rachel opened her mouth and was about to speak when she noticed the bright blue Happy Birthday banner hanging across the kitchen cabinets. Taped to the banner was her school photo from a few years ago, with the caption, Aren’t you glad these days are over? Happy Birthday! It was the worst picture of her in existence. She had a bowl haircut and was wearing big blue glasses.

“Did you have to bring that photo out again?”

“Yes, you know I love that photo,” Nana said.

“Oh dear. I like the banners, though. Couldn’t decide what to celebrate?”

“No. I wanted to celebrate both and ran out of space in the living room,” Papa said.

“I love it. We should leave it up until Christmas.” Rachel knew that would never happen. Nana liked to keep her house tidy.

“Let’s compromise on Halloween,” Nana said. “Actually, Rachel, while I’m thinking of it, could you bring the Halloween costumes and decorations downstairs from the attic?”

“Sure, but first let me tell you what Brent got me for my birthday.”

“Oh, that’s why you are grinning from ear to ear. Let me guess.”

“You won’t guess,” Rachel said. “He got us tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters!” She ran over to the table and handed her grandparents the tickets. Rachel opened the door to the pantry and shoved a couple Oreos into her mouth.

“Wow, I think that Brent guy has you figured out. Don’t eat too many cookies, you will spoil your dinner,” Nana said, her blue eyes twinkling.

“No, I won’t. Cookies never fill me up. What’s the plan for dinner?” Rachel asked.

“Bad Apple Grill,” Nana said.

“Ooooh, Bad Apple. My favorite! When are we leaving?”

“Whenever you want,” Nana said.

“Okay, let me grab the Halloween boxes, then we can go.”

“Sounds good, I will get Papa moving,” Nana said.

The attic door was in the hallway on the second floor. Rachel pulled the rope; the ladder didn’t budge. She pulled harder a second time, and the ladder swung to the ground.

Rachel climbed the ladder and hoisted herself into the attic. She scanned the room but didn’t see any traces of ghosts or zombies; she was surrounded by dust, cobwebs, and her archenemy—spiders. She needed to get out of there quick, but the boxes were stacked three high and covered the attic. She noticed some were labeled—Christmas, decorations, Robbie. Without a box marked Halloween in sight, she started with the unlabeled boxes.

The first box was filled with clothes—probably her father’s clothes. She sighed. Sixteen years and her grandparents were still hanging on to her father’s belongings. When would they move on?

Rachel saw another unlabeled box taped shut. The box was too small to hold costumes or decorations, but her curiosity got the best of her. She ripped the tape off the box. Inside the box were hundreds of loose photographs.

Nana and Papa were photography buffs, and even with the advent of digital photography, they still preferred using film. They brought their camera everywhere and took turns shooting photographs on trips and events. When they returned home, Nana developed all the photographs. On cold winter nights, the Brandts sorted through the boxes of photographs and retold the stories captured in the pictures. But a few years had passed since the last time Nana and Papa had rolled out the boxes and albums of photographs.

Rachel rifled through the box for a few minutes. Pictures of Rachel at all stages of life dominated the contents. She saw herself covered with icing and cake on her second birthday. In another photo, Nana, Papa, and a seven- or eight-year-old Rachel held up a giant walleye on the boat. She dug around a little bit more and saw a picture of her father that caught her eye. He was wearing his Marine Corps dress-blue uniform, a grin on his face and his arm wrapped around a beautiful woman. Rachel didn’t recognize the woman, but her face had a familiar look. The woman was stunning; her light brown hair was pulled back, highlighting her bright, brown eyes. She wore a long black dress that accentuated her tall, thin figure. Rachel couldn’t remember ever seeing this photo before tonight; she took the photo, shoved it into her sweatshirt pocket, and shut the box.

The Photograph releases June 17. Learn more about the book here.


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The Photograph Cover Reveal

I couldn’t wait any longer! I had to show you the awesome cover for The Photograph. 

A special thanks to Kelly over at Indie-Spired Designs. She also writes books so check out her books here.

ThePhotograph_Ebook_Final

I absolutely love the cover! The Photograph releases June 17! More teasers and chapters will be posted in the coming weeks, but here’s the pitch if you missed it.


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The Pitch for The Photograph

ABNA

I am excited to announce my contemporary young adult novel, The Photograph, is moving on to the second round of the Amazon Breakthough Novel Award in the YA category. In round one, judges evaluate the submissions based on the pitch (think Amazon book description). I started as one of a few thousand, but now I am one of 400 in the YA category. In round two, novels are judged by content of the first few chapters.

I am super excited to make it to round two, and to celebrate, I am sharing the pitch with you! Here it is….

The Pitch

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Brandt is excited about her six-month anniversary with her boyfriend, Brent, getting her driver’s license, and competing for a district championship in her first season on the varsity basketball team.

But when Rachel stumbles across a photograph of her parents, she can’t shake the feeling that she is meant to find her mother, whose identity is a secret her grandparents have closely guarded. All Rachel knows is that her mother disappeared around the time her father was killed in action in the Gulf War a few months after she was born.

Her discovery of the photograph sends Rachel on a search for her mother against her grandparents’ wishes and propels her life into a tailspin. She never imagines her search will reveal a series of lies that jeopardizes every important relationship in her life and ultimately lead Rachel to question her identity.

The Photograph is a contemporary young adult novel that follows Rachel’s search for her mother through the backdrop of her basketball team’s quest for its first district championship in twelve years.