I don’t even know where to start. If I start at the beginning this post will end up being 193,232 words which is exactly how many words Changed Beauty is. Think about that for a second. 193,232 words. It means that in a word document it is 549 pages. For the paperback version it’s over 600 pages and for the other formats … Well …You get the picture … Right?
But I don’t.
I don’t know how it happened again. All I can say is that when I was first finished with Changed Beauty I had over 700 pages as a word document. During my second editing of the book I got it down to around what it’s at now. During final edits, I deleted more, I added a bit … So, it ended up being what it is. And that’s that. It has to be. Because Allie and Aiden’s story is what it is. And it’s not changing. (ha.ha. I couldn’t help myself with that one.)
But in all seriousness though – it’s a long book. Because Allie and Aiden had/have a very long story. If you read books 1&2 (Unexpected Beauty & Chaotic Beauty) you know that Aiden’s past wasn’t very pretty, and we didn’t even touch upon about 90 % of it during the first two books. And during Changed Beauty you will find out that Allie’s past, and her present, isn’t all shiny and bright and hopeful either. I had to delve into who they were when they were teenagers because it makes them who they are now, and that all plays a big part into who they ultimately want to be. Out of all my books I feel that THIS one gives you a start, a middle, an end, and a future.
One of my earliest descriptions of this book was this:
Some things don’t need a description. Some things should never be talked about.
What happened in Aiden’s past should have been buried forever, and what’s happening to Allie now – it shouldn’t be happening. Not now. Not ever.
They are who they are now because of what they endured, what they suffered, what they’ve overcome.
They act how they act because of what life has taught them, what it’s done to them.
Aiden and Allie’s story doesn’t start when they meet, when they talk, when they touch, when they fall.
Their stories started long before then, when they were children – defenseless, scared, innocent, betrayed.
They say you can never outrun your past, and they’re right. They both learned that the hard way.
And what makes it worse?
The pasts they both had to live through … It’s coming back to haunt them. Ruin them. Destroy them.
What makes them who they are now? It will be asked over, and over, again. Who are they? What are they? What will they become?
What makes them fight against each other so fiercely, so passionately, withholding nothing, yet hiding everything?
Why aren’t they right for each other, when everyone can see that they want, they desire, they belong?
And what changes their minds? What changes them? And will the change last forever?
Because you know the road isn’t smooth. The past does come back as promised. The present rises and wreaks havoc. They get hurt, battered, betrayed, and broken. Again. But by who? And will they change again because of it? Can they change? Do they want to? Because not all changes are good, accepted, wanted, or needed. Not all changes are beautiful.
Some changes may lead you straight into your worst nightmare.
I meant every word of that first description I came up with – and I still do. It is still one hundred percent fitting of them and what happens. They’ve lived through so much, they’ve done so much – they will have to live through and endure even more as their story – their life – unfolds. What they’ve gone through – it had to have an impact on them, and how they look at others, how they look at life, how they view their futures and what they want out of life, who they want at their side for forever.
This wasn’t Sam’s story where we only touched upon one major issue – which was what happened with Aiden, or what she believes to have happened with Aiden, and how his leaving her created roadblocks in her life and her relationships. And I didn’t set up Allie and Aiden like I did with Connor and Riley in Unexpected Beauty so I could hit the ground running in Chaotic Beauty. Allie and Aiden had to connect first; they needed to build a foundation, figure themselves out, figure each other out, they had to truly grow and understand and let go (they had to change) … But they also needed to hold on and go along for the ride (they needed to trust, understand, believe in themselves and those around them) And they fought me and each other the whole time. Even before all the good stuff, we had to know them, I had to know them. Hell, they had to know who they were. We had to know them now (they had to know themselves now), and we needed to know and understand them from when they were younger. It was a process. An extremely long process. But it gave me Allie and Aiden. And I love Allie and Aiden.
And more than that … I especially love Allie.
I honestly did not know who Allie truly was (or where she was coming from, what she wanted and needed) until I created that first chapter for her. I had an idea of what and who I wanted her to be (we got a bit of her sass and sarcasm, her teasing, her friendship, and also her longing and loneliness, and also we got a brief mention of her potentially difficult life at home throughout the first two books), but really did I … Did I? I don’t think I did. Because Allie surprised the hell out of me! I fell in love with her. For me, she stole the book – or at the very least my attention! And I didn’t think that was going to happen (I mean, it’s Aiden’s book!). With all of my books I tend to love the men more and want to know everything (especially with Connor) – I needed to know it all – I wanted to be in their heads non-stop. Even with Liam, when it wasn’t written from his point of view, I needed to know who he was (where he was coming from, why he did certain things, and even though we don’t hear from him personally until the very end we knew exactly what he was thinking, feeling –
But Allie? I cannot believe I am saying this … I like her just as much … if not more. I needed to hear her voice, I needed to know what she was doing, thinking all of the time … She is my favorite female character that I’ve written! Which was/is unbelievably shocking because I didn’t see it coming at all! Aiden was the one who originally captured my attention while writing the previous books, not Allie – not really. I wanted to know his story, I needed to know! In the beginning I needed to know why Sam painted him in such a way in Unexpected Beauty – I wanted to know why he really did what he did AND what DID he really do (because I knew it couldn’t be as cut and dry or as small as Sam tried to make it out to be to others when it was something that had such a hold on her for years), I needed to know what was going on with him … And then how he was with Riley on her birthday – OHHHHH I needed to know about Aiden (what he said to her before he left her apartment and when they got to Molly’s, it’s still one of my favorite parts of the book and he’s not even the main character in that one)!!! But it was Allie who I was falling for fast. It took me a bit longer for Aiden. But he got there. And I love them. I especially LOVE them together. Maybe that’s why I love Allie so much too. Because of Aiden. And what he sees in her. What he does to her. What she becomes. How she truly changes and evolves. I don’t know. All I know, and all I can tell you, is I love Allie.
And I also love Elizabeth and Ryan.
You will run into Ryan and Elizabeth a lot in this book. You will also be seeing a lot of Liam and Sam, and Connor and Riley again. You will get a few big doses of them actually. There are a few group nights to look forward to & some personal conversations and revelations! But Ryan and Elizabeth … Jesus … I want you to have their book in your hands already!! Unfortunately I haven’t truly started their book yet (I do have around 30 pages I wrote when I began writing their story to include a sneak peek at the end of Changed Beauty, but that’s barely scratching the surface). I do have a stack of scenes I’ve written (scenes I rapidly wrote down on paper when I was writing Changed Beauty and some I wrote even before I started Allie and Aiden’s story, because I think I’ve mentioned it before, Ryan is like Connor – he is banging and clawing to have his way out of my head and his story all out on paper) … But their book won’t be out until next year. I am hoping early 2017, but I can’t guarantee it. It’s going to be my last book in the series … though I’m not going to lie – I introduce a character in Allie and Aiden’s story that had me smiling quite a bit and shaking my head and wondering what’s next for him … but I really am closing out the series with Ryan and Elizabeth. I might revisit the series later on down the road … maybe do a less lengthy spin-off or something – but that would be a ways off … because I already have two different ideas already written down for after this series …
But enough about that … I went completely off target there.
Anyway, yes you will see a bit of Ryan and Elizabeth … But there should be no surprise there to those of you who have read the previous book! I’ve been setting them up since book 2. And you will definitely get more insight into their relationship – and yes they do have one – much to Aiden’s annoyance. And my delight. All of that offers some scenes that absolutely caused me to laugh and smirk … and a few other things.
So really, this story offers a lot. Not just with Allie and Aiden, but the rest of the crew – the family. Because really … that’s what they are! They are each other’s family.
And I really hope you enjoy it.
It was frustrating to write, but it was also a pleasure. An experience. It changed me. It truly did.
I need to tell you guys that this won’t be my last posting about this book.
There is more that needs to be said.
And once you read the book, you will know why.
I feel like I might have given some things away already. But I know I haven’t. Because I know everything that is in this story. I know I didn’t even scratch the surface even though I am currently at 1,722 words. (Probably more now since when I first typed that total I didn’t even begin to edit yet)
In a little over a month I will pop on here again … mostly likely with a heading that will say something like “If you have NOT read Changed Beauty do NOT read this yet,” and I will skip a few lines and then POUR MY HEART OUT. Because in comparison to everything that I have to say about this book, all that I have just said above is complete and utter rambling with a few decent things thrown in.
It is NOTHING compared to what I need to say, want to say, and probably nothing compared to what you are going to want to hear. And know.
And I think I will leave it at that.
Until next time … Happy Reading! (Hopefully Changed Beauty when it comes out August 23)