The story behind writing The Academie

Categories: Behind the Story.

High school was a difficult time for me. I truly believed (and still do) that I was mature enough to be given much more freedom and responsibility than adults were willing to offer me. Even when I went off to college, I was discouraged to find that I often needed a parent’s signature to get things done. (“Seriously? I thought I was adult at 18?”) Moreover, as a petite woman who continued to look like a teen long after I wasn’t, I was constantly reminded of how badly young people can be treated long after most people my age had forgotten. As for high school, I still have trouble walking back in those doors for any reason. It’s scary during the day, and even more frightening after dark. To this day my high school still has large, spear-headed metal gates they pull across the halls at night. No joke. I was always terrified of being locked behind one and trapped inside there forever. And that’s how the story of The Academie came to be: because sometimes I still have nightmares that I haven’t left, that I’m trapped inside high school–forever. What about you? Are/were you one of those people who had an amazing high school experience and would love to go back, or do you believe life really does get better after high school? Does/did your high school had the speared gates?
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Celebrate THE ACADEMIE’S Book-A-Versary with 50% off!

Categories: news.

July 11th is The Academie, book 1’s book-a-versary (or book birthday if you will) and we’re celebrating by offering 50% off The Academie on Smashwords.com now through July 31st! Here’s how to get your discount copy: 1.  Click to The Academie’s Smashwords page. 2. Use the code SSW50 at checkout Happy reading! 🙂
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The Academie Hit Amazon’s Best Sellers List Again!

Categories: news and series info and updates.

I am overjoyed to announce that The Academie has hit Amazon’s Best Sellers list again! Thank you fans! It means the world to me, especially in light of the upcoming release of The Armageddon Factor, which my husband, Christian (CN James), and I have been hard at work at for quite some time now. It’s great to hear you are enjoying our work. We look forward to bringing you The Academie II: The Silent School later this year as well.  
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For my friends in the Philippines

Categories: news.

I’ve had many requests over the last two years from friends in the Philippines wanting to buy a copy of The Academie, but not finding it available in their country. At last, we’ve been able to make The Academie available direct from our website!   Celebrate with $1.00 off! Use promo code: yayphilippines! (Limited quantities available!) Buy it Now:  The Academie (Epub) or The Academie (Kindle/.mobi) or The Academie (pdf)   Book Description: When Allie Thompson graduated, she thought she’d put high school behind her. But when a series of violent outbreaks by teens sends panic surging through the nation, high school is right where Allie finds herself again. Re-molded into what the government calls The Academie, what was once the public school system is now the permanent home of everyone 22 and under. After a year away at college and a lifetime as a model student, Allie doesn’t take well to The Academie’s militaristic nature or its 16 foot perimeter fences. Remembering all she’s left behind, including the boyfriend she’s now years away from seeing again, Allie plummets into depression. But when strange things begin to happen and her brother disappears, Allie realizes she must unravel the mystery that is The Academie—before it’s too late.
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Learning I’m Not Crazy: My Story of Living with ADHD

Categories: Life, School, & a little bit of everything.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned I had Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), though life made a heck of a lot more sense once I did. I remember I’d hit a breaking point: I truly thought I was going insane because I simply couldn’t conform to basic social norms such as sitting still or keeping track of time. I was twenty-one, extremely diligent, extremely driven, and yet, the basics of life (like getting somewhere on time) somehow eluded me. And I thought that surely there must be something wrong with me, and most likely, it was all in my head. Turns out it was, but not quite the way that I thought. It was mid-way through my senior year, and I’d heard all through school how there were counselors on campus to help us with whatever we were dealing with, whenever we needed it. Not knowing where else to turn, I made an appointment, confident that doing so had sealed my fate with the men in white coats who I was certain were  ready and waiting to take me away. Nervously I made my way to the appointment, but from the very start, it didn’t go as I anticipated. The woman I was to meet I imagined would either be a social worker type who had given so much to helping others that she appeared to be beaten down by life, or a hyper-professional, with a clipboard, glasses she’d straighten often, and degrees posted all over her
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The Truth Behind the Fiction

Categories: Behind the Story.

In most fiction, there’s at least a kernel of truth. No, there really isn’t a place called The Academie that locks people away until they are 22—or 30. But when I was in high school and told I’d be picked up by the cops if I skipped class, it felt like I imagine Allie felt at The Academie. And when I was 29 and was yelled at in a store for goofing around because the security guard thought I was 16 and treated me as such (goofing around or not, I’ve never been scolded like a child now at 38), it felt like I wasn’t respected because I was young, just like all those who were locked away at The Academie. When my friends and family read the first copies of The Academie released back in July of 2011, it didn’t take long before I was hearing comments about how much Allie reminded them of me. Or how Andy and Matthew reminded them of my own younger brothers. Coincidence? No. My brother, Michael (Matthew), and I had been very close in the years before, but marriage and work had drawn us apart. I missed him and the fun we used to have. And occasionally, yes, I’ve wanted to chuck Dodge Balls at him. (I’m sure he’d say the same about me.) Likewise, my brother, Adam (Andy), fourteen years my junior, had since grown into a man, and while I was and am proud of the man he has become, I miss like crazy the little boy that
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The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking – NYTimes.com

Categories: Related Issues.

While tweaking The Academie manuscript in preparation for the release of the 2nd edition, I came across a startling article published just last month. Here’s an excerpt, followed a link if you’d like to read it in full. My grandfather, who passed away 12 years ago today, fought in WII and would never speak of it. I shudder to think of what he might have experienced. THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. Multimedia Map Ghettos for Jews in Eastern Europe Map SS Concentration Camps What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust. The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, duringHitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945. The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington. “The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data. “We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”   Read the full article: The Holocaust Just Got
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Academie Bonus Material: The Letter

Categories: Academie Bonus Material.

“It says I have a package,” I said to the girl at the mail room window. The campus mailboxes were tiny, so anytime someone received a package they simply put a note in the box indicating such and you had to go to the main window to have them retrieve it. It was the first time I’d received a package, and since my birthday was only days away, I was elated at the idea that my parents had actually sent me a care package. Perhaps they had changed since I’d been away? The girl stepped away from the window to pull the package from wherever they stored them, and for a brief moment, I wished it was from Bryan. I knew it was impossible, but it didn’t stop me from wishing. “Here you are,” the girl said, returning a moment later to hand me a small, brown padded envelope. It was smaller than I hoped. No matter. It was the thought that counts. My mother’s handwriting listed my address, and as I began walking back to my dorm, I tore into it, eager to see what kind of treat she could have fit into such a small package. I passed a trash can and tossed the top of the envelope in on my way back. As I reached into the envelope and pulled out the contents, my heart sank. Inside was a pink envelope with my name written in my mother’s font and an envelope addressed from The Academie. Happy Birthday to
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The Academie Earns 5 Stars!

Categories: news.

In a new review by book blogger Chelsea Jade at Loving Literature, The Academie earned five stars! Chelsea says: I LOVED THIS BOOK. Honestly the idea behind the whole book was just utterly amazing. The fact that this book had such a huge impact on me I believe was the fact that this could already happening and we would never know..Spooky right? I would most definitely recommend this book to all dystopia and well to be honest everyone, it has something for all book lovers! This book deserves more than 5/5 however 5 is my highest so I suppose that will have to do! Thanks Chelsea! I hope others enjoy the book just as much!
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cole reed (Reach Excerpt)

Categories: work in progress.

Cole Reed had no arms. Rumors about whether he ever did and, if so, what happened, abounded at Grant Senior High. But the truth was, no one knew because no one ever asked. No one ever said a word to Cole Reed; so few had ever even heard his voice that many suspected he had lost that too. Teachers didn’t call on Cole Reed. It was no secret that Cole received special privileges for his disability. When teachers picked on everyone else in class, they’d skip right over Cole. And when the time came to turn in assignments, if Cole didn’t have his, teachers would give him this understanding smile-frown and walk on by to collect from the next student. But Cole wasn’t incapable. That was clear. He might have no arms, but he had amazing prosthetics—of this Eva Jones was certain. In fact it was the only thing about him she was certain of. Two rows behind and to the left of him she sat each day in Introductory to Physical Sciences, and everyday instead of listening to Mr. Maco lecture about how matter could shift from one state to another, she watched Cole Reed and his prosthetics. Cole was tall, but sat crouched over his desk, forever intent on something. Was he drawing? Taking notes? Eva could never tell. But what she could tell was that he was very serious, very intent on what whatever it was he was doing. His was a ghostly existence, and more than
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