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a sketch of a coffee shoppe

i am sitting by the large picture window at the end of a coffee shop. everything is mahogany, a dark encompassing shade like cocoa to embody the scent of ground espresso hanging as thick in the air as smoke. my back is to the bar, but i can hear machines whirring and buzzing from behind it along with laughter and chatter; someone announcing a caramel latte with whipped cream for tim.

the noise and the scents distract me from the blank page in front of me. the paper is thick, more like card stock and meant for something like watercolor paintings. instead an ink pen lays beside it and my gaze ebbs between the two objects. i rub my fingers together, thinking.

the window in front of me is painted gray by raindrop polka dots. the city lays past it; well, a street anyway- warm asphalt lined with lampposts draped in flags and flower baskets. there's a bike rack just outside and i watch a teenager experience difficulty with the lock around the front tire of his respective bicycle. he's the kind of boy that hasn't quite got used to the length of his own lanky limbs.

i decide to put my earbuds in. they're white and wireless and they play cream. i think about words - or try to.

all my friends write in coffee shops and it looks so great. but it's easier caught on film than carried out in reality. because the sounds are still whirring through the air with the scent of espresso, warm and rich, and tim still hasn't picked up his caramel latte with whipped cream. what kind of a person would just leave it sitting there like that?

back outside, the teenager is still struggling with his bike chain. since he's still here i guess he's enough of a character to earn a description: he is a baggy vans tee shirt with beat up jeans and sneaks. a tangled froth of black curls spill from his head. the apples of his etched cheeks redden. he kicks at the back tire and grabs a fistful of the froth.

a breeze combs the street, making the baskets sway a little, the poppies nodding to the tasteful rhythm of the drums beating through my earbuds. because of the breeze, i notice a swatch of bright fabric rippling like a flag across the quiet street. it's not a flag really, it's a dress; long and floral and worn by a woman who looks about fifty. her hair is pinned on top of her head and she has the sort of face that makes someone with imagination want to make up a story about her.

she sits down on a bench and places her white leather bag into her lap. she waits. and the breeze doesn't even budge her hair from it's tidy bun. i wonder how anyone can make their hair obey them like that.

i look back down at the paper in front of me and this time i pick up the pen. the tip hovers just above the page; not making contact. i can't remember what it was i had really wanted to say, but now i remember that i bought a coffee. it was just a hot black coffee though, not special like the coffee tim had apparently abandoned. it had been intimidatingly busy when i first came in, and because of this i'd decided that i wouldn't order anything that would cause me to be piled atop the mass of hollow eyes and hands clutching receipts titled with wrongly spelled names. no, i would be simple: a large black coffee please. and it would be placed in my hand only seconds after i handed the barista named elliot the three dollars it had cost.

there were downsides about large hot coffees with no milk, though. they weren't for the impatient; my tongue was already swollen in my mouth, throbbing to the beat of "strange brew". an injury like that just makes all your happy feelings for a hot beverage go away.

i begin to draw an angry flower on the margins of the page. i look back up through the rain speckled glass. the perfect bun is still seated on the bench, and her sharp eyes switch back and forth like she's waiting for something. now i see her lips are crimson. her long dress hangs past her ankles and settles in a puddle of fabric on the damp sidewalk. it pains me to think about how the dirt will stick, and how that will be such a misfortune considering all the effort she put into the rest of her appearance.

i decide her name must be juliana. she has a face like one.

meanwhile, on this side of the street, on one side of the glass i finish my angry flower. on the other side, the boy mounts his bike - which is now unchained! i can't help but feel a little let down: he'd already managed to liberate it. all that struggle and i missed the conclusion. it's like missing the best part of a movie you've never seen.

tim still hasn't picked up his caramel latte. how do i know, i have earbuds in? oh, i know because now i'm looking over my shoulder at the end of the bar, my jaw clenching with anger left over from missing the best part of the messy teenager's bike dilemma. now my anger shifts over to tim.

the whipped cream, i could see even from this inopportune vantage point, was loosing it's gusto.

no less irritated, i look back to the lady across the street just as the teenager peddles across to the bench. he turns sharp and accidentally rides across the hem of the anxiously long dress, instantly causing something inside me to recoil; i'd known some catastrophe like this would occur. it only increases when the boy almost falls into the street. the woman's mouth forms a horrified O. I turn cream up a little louder, which adds to the cinematic affect.

the boy sputters and wags his arms in a way that seems apologetic as he scrambles up. the situation seems like it might get worse, but then two other women in similar dress approach. this seems to all but melt away the bad feelings left by the filthy tire mark that marred the train of her expensive looking garment. i can imagine the shrieks that only women with large pocketbooks and lipstick can make when they see each other. hugs are being slathered as the boy deftly takes advantage of the situation and races the bike out of my frame of reference.

i can't help but feel a little bummed as i realize that juliana was just meeting two copy-and-paste friends. i'd hoped for a long lost italian lover from her twenties. it makes me even more remorseful about the ordeal with the bike; it had been the only good story in this window, and i'd missed it.

i yank one earbud out just in time to hear someone shout tim's name; monotonously summoning him to his long forgotten caramel latte.

it is too much. it is all too much.

snapping my sketchpad closed on the one angry flower, i slide down off the stupidly high stood and stride over to the bar, my nostrils presumably flaring. i slam to a halt in front of the bar, my sneakers squeaking loudly on the concrete. i snatch the neglected cup from the apron with a teenage boy inside it.

i grab a straw and stab it violently through the lid, lifting it to my lips to take a long, defiant drought.

"that's for tim," he croaks, defeated.

"i know," i reply, turning on my heels. "thanks."


this is why i can't write in coffee shops.

stay stoked,

A GIVEAWAY & a HUGE thank-you

happy friday, my friends! what a full and fulfilling week this has been. starting tomorrow or later today i'm about to dive headlong into edits on The Blood Race book 3, but to kick off the weekend i wanted to take a moment to thank every single one of you who has participated in the blog tour for worlds beneath, helped me spread the word, and of course, READ the book! 

you guys don't even know how much you mean to me, and how much i love you all. below, i'm going to list every single person (and their blogs) participating in the tour. please take a moment to go check out their posts and show them some love - they're all so awesome, and such a great bunch of writers themselves. 

i also wanted give you a heads up - i just kicked off a giveaway over on my instagram - There will be 3 winners: 1st prize includes everything you see in this photo - signed copies of BOTH my books (the first two in the trilogy), one handcrafted, 'The Blood Race' watercolor book marker (graciously donated by the brilliant McKenzie!), a vintage-style journal, a "Book Lovers Kit" (which includes a place-marker, a 'from the library of' stamp & slips, and a quote book), and a box of Tazo sweet cinnamon spice tea (because who doesn't love a hot cup of tea with a good book??) 2nd & 3rd prize include one beautiful hand-painted 'The Blood Race' bookmark, and digital copies of both books. 


1. Follow me (@emmonswrites) and The Blood Race series account (@thebloodrace)

2. Comment on the image with your FAVORITE THING about The Blood Race, or WHY you're looking forward to reading it AND tag a friend who might like to enter the giveaway! (They will also need to follow/comment/tag to be entered.) You must do ALL of the things listed, or you're not going to be entered.

I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday, September 15th

and now, a GREAT BIG SHOUT-OUT to the amazing bloggers without whom I could never have successfully launched worlds beneath:

^ that smile on my face?? YOU GUYS PUT IT THERE. <3 and i can't thank you enough. can't wait to write you another book!!

if you didn't get a chance to participate in the blog tour, but still wanted to do a post of some kind, no worries! just shoot me an email (you can find that on the about page up top.)

stay stoked!

wandering: versailles

versailles was spur of the moment. it was remembering how much i had always wanted to see it on one of our last days in paris. it was dashing down the rainy gray sidewalks and buying tickets at a tour office. it was so exciting.

versailles getting up early and missing breakfast and filling ourselves with chocolate croissants and mini cream-filled doughnuts instead. because why wouldn't you? what else does one do when they are in love and in paris?

it was taking a bus and watching france pass the window in pastel blurs like marble and sunlight, all dressed up with rows of cottage like townhouses with beautiful architecture that seemed a little german-influenced to me. it was quickly eating the rest of my croissant because you can't bring food into a palace but you can't throw away a chocolate croissant either.

versailles was crisp morning air and sunlight as clear and sweet as nectar. it was crystal and gold and and mirrors mirrors mirrors. hallways marie antoinette once walked. golden walls warm with the sunlight. wide eyed me, trying to hear everything our tour guide was saying through my earbuds.

the hall of mirrors was the best part (google it because my lens didn't do the enormity of the room justice) and i wished i could stay until after closing and just lay in the middle of the floor and look up the the twinkling chandeliers and pretend they were stars in the dusty moonlight reflecting off the sheer glass walls.

versailles was roaming the gardens and weaving among the topiaries and snapping pictures and laughing and striking yoga poses and running around like two children in the warm sunlight.

and of course it was crepes after that.



it's a relief to finally take a quick break from desk work to post this fun little sketch of versailles, (which is well worth visiting if you find yourself in France) because it's something i've been wanting to post for quite a while. if you've been hanging out with me here on the goodness revolt for a bit, you know that traveling is in my blood - i love grabbing my backpack and heading out on adventures (and writing about them!!! that's one of the best parts!!)

wandering will forever be part of the goodness revolt, and you can expect 'wandering' posts just as frequently as i've been endeavoring to post them. however, as my husband and I travel more and more, i begin to find myself longing for a larger space to facilitate my madly-scribbled chronicles of our adventures and globe trots.

all that said, after lots of dreaming, planning, and encouraging discussion with Tyler, I decided now was as good a time as any to branch out and create a little extra room to share about travel, wanderlust, trips, and all things wandering. i've started a new chapter - a companion blog, as i like to think of it - a sweet little online space called An Adventure Called Us.

I'll let it speak for itself, but in a nutshell - yes! I've started a travel blog! I'm very excited to share more about our adventures (aaaand have a place to dump all my many, many, many travel photos, haha!).

So if you like my wandering posts here on the goodness revolt, you may just like what i'm blogging about over on An Adventure Called Us. ;) (hit up our instagram account here, I'll be posting LOTS of adventure shots.)

Alright, you know the drill! Tell me about the last BEST adventure YOU had below in the comments! was it close by?? thousands of miles away??? did you get there by pane, boat, car... space shuttle? (if you say space shuttle, pls take me with you next time)

stay stoked,

process (cannot happen alone)

deep breath. stretch. don't want to get up yet-- have to. shades, twist, sunlight.

mmmm. good morning.

sunlight on my shoulder blades.
coffee. sunlight. sunlight. sip.

desk chair, flip screen. tap, tap, tap-- fingers flying.


retractable pen: click, click, click.
drawing pine trees. thinking. getting in on my hands.

sip. pour. sip. think.
tap, tap, tap.

crack; eggshells. toast.
potatoes and rosemary.
more coffee, more words.



licking my lips, staring into space,
fingers fly.

trees, so many trees.

sunlight in the window as i tap
and sip.

every day.
feet under the desk. butterflies in my belly.
what's going to happen next
what's going to happen


more coffee
more words


it's not the gush of water that breaks the rock, it's the steady: drip, drip, drip.

it's the every day.

it's the



that was this morning for me. today is part of the process and tomorrow will be too. sitting here in the sunlight, sipping my coffee after letting loose some words on the page, it feels surreal that Worlds Beneath is OUT THERE. like... whoa, man.

and here's the thing about process: you can't do it alone. i couldn't do this alone. this whole launch has been so extremely humbling because of that fact alone. i couldn't do this without you, the reader. the commenter. the betas. the team. my family. my mom reading and leaving me sweet notes in the margins. my sister who is pure brilliance and everything. my husband. my editor. my proofreader, formatter. every single on of you who have read an arc, posted on social media, or written a blog post.

i could not do THIS without YOU.

please know how much you mean to me. please know how important you are to me. please know.

book two is here because of you guys. <3