Thrilled to be a blog tour spot on release day for this amazing book! Grab your tissues, read the info and interview and my review here, and then grab the book and settle in for another ugly cry!
What a load of bull. It’s been four years, and Kate’s voice still echoes in my mind.
Every. Damn. Day.
I numb her memory when it taunts me. In college, I drown her out with booze and easy lays.
I can’t do what she asked.
I can’t let her go.
Not even when Lia shows up, freaking ripping what’s left of me to shreds. Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone. I didn’t ask for this. Didn’t ask for her.
And I sure as hell didn’t plan to miss her when she walked out of my front door. Now, if I want to keep her, I have to straighten myself out and earn her. I can’t screw this up.
Because if I do, I’ll lose more than just Lia.
I’ll lose my life…
hour to get to the cemetery. After Mom and Liam died, I never stepped foot
here. Not until Kate convinced me to come. It had been one of her five wishes.
One through three I’d done because she was with me. Because I loved her. I
promised her number four, so I followed through. Number five, though?
now—day, night, whenever I need to be close to her. Even in death, Kate draws
me in. To this place where she’d only trodden once when she was alive.
bouquets of flowers from the passenger seat and swing the door open. When Kate
brought me here four years ago, I barely managed to get out of the car. Now
about coming anymore. It’s automatic. Routine, like my nightly shots of
like this. In three short years I lost the three people I loved most. Death
sucks, and I’ve had my fill.
closed and tread over the grass. The three identical stones jut up from the
ground, and even when I’m here after dark, I don’t have a problem seeing them.
They’re etched into my memory.
Kate buried here beside my mother and brother was entirely mine and entirely
selfish. The Browdys had asked me to help with her funeral arrangements, and
other than the time of the graveside service, this had been my only request. This
way she’d be close to me.
elder tree casts a shadow over them. I stand inside its cover from the sun,
facing the cold memorials. These pieces of granite have no real connection with
the people they were.
even pick them out. Didn’t see them, yet their names, dates of birth and death
are etched into them as if they’d been owned by those they claim to represent.
stones—aren’t for the dead.
over the Celtic symbols engraved at the center of each one. Identical to the
tattoos inked into my body. Faith. Brotherhood. Hope.
Kate’s as they usually do, and the memory of when I’d given her the trinity
heart necklace pours over me.
where to find it,”
I’d told her.
to her so she’d think of me whenever she needed me, but really, it was I who needed
breath to hold myself together. I lost everything the day Kate died.
through my hair and shut my eyes. Out here, away from everyone, I don’t have to
pretend that I have a fucking clue how to live without her.
gravestone, I lower myself to the ground, dropping the flowers at my side. My
chest is empty, yet somehow, it hurts. It’s the same damn thing year after
year—aching to see her smile at me just one more time. One more and I’d be
satisfied, I tell myself.
because one more smile from her would never be enough. I need to touch her, run
my fingers over her warm skin and protect the hell out of her.
I had the power within me, in my blood, to save her, and I failed.
the inches in front of me as I break down. Four years ago, my father sat here
with me and told me the pain would never go away, but it would lessen over
bullshit; the pain has only grown.
damn much, Katie,” I say even though she can’t hear me. And that thought kicks
me in the gut as much as anything. No matter what I say to her now, she’ll
never know any of it.
fingertips over her name: Kathryn “Katie” Browdy. Seventeen short years on this
earth and I only had her last months. They were the best months of my life.
until the sun begins to send streaks of gold over the horizon. Even though Kate
would be disappointed, I need to pick up more liquor before I head home. I have
to have something to get me through this pain.
rustles the dead flowers I left on their graves last week. I scoop them up and
replace them with the fresh ones I brought. Daisies for my mother, some generic
flowers he wouldn’t give a shit about for Liam, and red roses for Kate.
for my Katie.
murmur, fanning out the daisies in the vase beside her headstone.
Liam’s. “Take care of my girl, man,” I tell him, then I remember how I’d taken
care of his. “But if you touch her, I’ll fucking kill you.”
lay Kate’s roses at the base of her stone. There’s nothing I could say to her
that I haven’t already said a million times. So I settle for the words I
couldn’t say until just before she died. “I love you, baby. I’ll always love
I’ve always loved to read and write. I’ll read anything: Classics, fantasy, contemporary, mystery, horror. It doesn’t matter as long as it draws me in. As a kid, I was raised on authors such as Lurlene McDaniel, R.L. Stine, Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, and Shakespeare.
Writing-wise, my fondness lies in the YA/NA genre, though I do have a couple of women’s fiction stories swimming around in my head.
When not writing, I’m usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with my incredible husband, I live in small-town Iowa with my four adorable (yet ornery) children and our dog, Peaches.
Exclusive Interview with D. Nichole King!
Hi, LaDonna! Thanks for having me. 🙂
First and foremost, I have to ask if these stories are based on an experience in your life?
Will we get to revisit Damian’s life down the road?
Monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/-CsJD
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7762889.D_Nichole_King What would you like readers to take away from your books? If there was only one thing they were to remember and hold on to, what would it be?
I knew this wouldn’t be an easy read, but I was very drawn to it regardless. Absolutely beautifully written story of cancer, love and loss.
This is Kate’s story, starting at age 16 when she is told she is no longer in remission from ALL, the form of leukemia she has been fighting since she was 11. Much of the book is her diary entries, a process she started with her first round of chemo. This being her third go around she knows all about what she is in for physically, and the look inside her soul is heart wrenchingly realistic. You will feel her hopes and her fears, her joys and heartbreak, her feelings of invisibility, and her acceptance.
Damian Lowell is the handsome son of her oncologist, 18 years old, and troubled. Forced to volunteer on the pediatric cancer floor because of his outrageous behavior since the death of his mother and older brother in a car accident two years earlier. In many ways this story is his as much as it is Kate’s. I couldn’t always understand his behavior, and certainly couldn’t condone it for many reasons, but it is also told in a real and soulful way.
I can’t remember when, if ever, a book has made me cry as much as this one did. At times I had to stop for a minute or two because my vision was so clouded by tears the words were too blurry to read. But in spite of it all, it is a beautiful story. I vow to find the beauty and hope in sunrises now.
Love Always, Damian
Grab your tissues, lots of tissues and settle in with this 5 star follow up to the heart wrenchingly beautiful Love Always, Kate.
Four years later, we catch up with Damian to see where he is at now. I will admit I had mixed feeling about Damian due to some of his self destructive behaviors we saw in Love Always, Kate and more so in Eight Days. But, bottom line was always that I was so in love with Kate’s story there was no way I was going to miss out on Damian’s.
When we first catch up with the youngest Mr. Lowell, it is hard to say that much has changed, although I was immediately rather proud that he was giving college, well, a college try. And I didn’t make it through the first chapter without tears. And the tears just didn’t stop. The author should by stock in Kleenex because I don’t cry at books, and I went through almost 2 boxes on this book. But it is a beautiful cry.
Damian has not been able to achieve the last request on Kate’s wish list for him – to let her go. His sorrow and loss are so profound in this book. This doesn’t mean he sits quietly and mourns, his self destructive tendencies are still quite pronounced, but his visits to the cemetery are heartfelt and extremely moving. The author has done the most excellent job in drawing us into his despair.
And then comes the blast from his past. I am the first to admit that I did not embrace Elle in the first book and novella. I didn’t love her any more as we first met up with her again, but I could kind of understand why she had chosen to keep her bombshell from him. She grew on me as the book goes on, and certainly Lia captured my heart as quickly as she captured Damian’s, whether he was willing to admit that she had or not.
I feel I have jumped into spoiler territory too far already, but this series is a must read, including the novella Eight Days that I had pretty negative feelings on the first time I read it. Those feelings all changed after reading Love Always, Damian. It is an excellent tie in. The author describes it as that extra layer of icing in the middle of a cake, not absolutely necessary, but definitely an added bonus. So grab the tissues – that point I can not stress enough, even if you think a book can’t make you cry – and curl up and enjoy this tale of love, loss, and what comes after.
I did receive a complimentary advanced copy of this book for review purposes, but am purchasing as I would have anyway. It is well worth the read. For mature audience only for explicit sexual content.