Category Archives: Sarah’s Thoughts

Me, Too

Trigger Warning: This post contains discussions on sexual assault.

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/2yv1Kbp

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, you’ve seen friends and family members posting “Me, Too” on their social media profiles. Sometimes, that’s all they post. Sometimes, they share more. Sometimes, they share it all.

#MeToo is a grassroots movement where victims of sexual harassment and abuse are coming forward and telling the world…this happened to me, too. You’re not alone. We’re not alone. In fact, look how not alone we are. The movement took off quickly, and the response was tremendous. Because the number of victims out there is tremendous.

If you have a few minutes free today, please scroll through the #MeToo on Twitter (here), and give your love and support to these strong souls. 

I’ve also shared my story more than a few times on social media, and on this blog, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse and as a rape victim during college. (You can read those blogs here). I don’t talk so often about sexual harassment because I just don’t have the time.

I don’t talk so often about sexual harassment because I just don’t have the time. I don’t even have the mental ability to hold all those instances in my brain. It’s so “regular,” so often, so…normal to pretend I didn’t hear the lewd discussions about my body when walking past a group of men, or didn’t feel the pinch on my ass, or didn’t notice that that man didn’t just “trip” on the metro, but rather purposefully groped my breast. So normal to pretend that removing my wedding ring for a job interview is normal, so the man interviewing me won’t think I’m leaving soon to go have kids. So normal to rush to my car at night quickly and lock the doors, my keys sticking out between my knuckles, because at any moment…I could be raped again. So normal to look the other way, to pretend that it’s not happening, to mentally paint a less frightening world for myself just to get through the day like every other woman out there.

Except, it’s not normal at all.

In a perfect world, this showing of hands will help people realize how prevalent it is and how much is needed to be done to change our current culture. So, that’s the question…what do we do next?

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/2ytyx0t

What Comes After #MeToo?

That’s the big question. Okay, great, we all spoke up. How do we change it? It’s so overwhelming to even think about. That’s fair because it is. Rape culture wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight.

But, it can be solved in a generation.

We can resolve to teach our sons that consent is paramount above all else. We can teach our sons to step in and not look the other way when their friends are engaging in “locker room talk,” or worse. We can teach our daughters that their bodies our their own. They don’t have to hug their grandma if they don’t want to. Show respect, but make your own choices with your body. No one has to touch you. We can teach our daughters that they are more than their physical appearance, and they have more than that to offer future partners. And yes, men and boys can be victims, too.

We can elect role models who don’t grab women by the pussy. We can hire teachers and tutors and coaches who prioritize children’s safety. We can believe victims when they come forward. We can empathize and understand, instead of shame and silence. We can be the support for future victims that we never had for ourselves.

We can teach all of our children all of this, and then maybe, the rape culture we live in now won’t be around when our children come of age. Maybe our children will never have to say #MeToo…too. 


Do you have ideas for how our world can change and grow moving forward? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Let’s Talk About Sex, (and) Babies!

Let’s Talk About Sex, (and) Babies!

Side Bar: This is not a pregnancy announcement. 😂

On September 20, 2017, my husband and I will have officially been together for 5 years! That’s the exact day we met, and that’s what we consider our anniversary. Why don’t we count our wedding? Well, we had two. It’s confusing. Neither one of us knows which to celebrate. So, instead, we celebrate the day we met because we basically considered ourselves married from day one. Seriously. We met, spent 3 solid days together, then moved in together two weeks later, engaged 6 months later, and then married…twice.

Sounds like a fairytale, right? WRONG.

I mean, it started like one. He was everything I didn’t know I wanted, and everything I knew I needed. We were young and head over heels in love, and he swept me off my feet with romance. We built a home together, adopted a few (or more than a few) fur babies, and settled into our lives as a couple.

It was goddamn perfect.

And then it wasn’t so perfect.

Adulthood hit with a fucking sledgehammer to the face.

The next 2-3 years were hell. First, our home burned down a few weeks before our wedding. FUN. Then, family caused a shit ton of drama surrounding the wedding plans, and that was fucking miserable. Then, our cars were totaled in two separate car accidents. Then, our insurance didn’t pay for fire damages and we had to move far away and to Murderville because we were practically bankrupted by the fire and the wedding and the cars and the irresponsibility of being 23 and not knowing how to handle money.

Did you think that was it? Oh, no. There’s more!

Next, my husband got ill and it took months and months to figure out what was wrong and how to get his illness under control with medications. Then, my husband basically lost his job due to said illness and was royally fucked over by his employers. Oh, and then our dog was accidentally poisoned and almost died, and our other dog was discovered to have cancer. During all of this, we suffered multiple miscarriages and went through failed fertility treatments (which seriously suck, by the way).  *sigh* 

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that life got shitty, and unfortunately, our relationship did, too. Neither one of us knew how to handle these stressors and tragedies, and instead of banding together and helping each other through it, we took out our pain on each other. There was so much fighting, lying, anger, selfishness, distrust, and a shit ton of other crappy behavior that seemed like it would be impossible to ever come back from. Our marriage quickly tanked, and divorce was discussed more than once.

Honestly, it fucking sucked.

I’ve never felt like more of a failure than I did at the end of 2016 when I realized I might actually be a divorcee soon. And it was the last thing I ever wanted–especially from Justin. He was, and is, perfect for me. I love him with all my heart. I always would. So why couldn’t it just work? Why was it so hard? This shouldn’t be happening.

The most difficult part was I felt unable to talk to anyone about it. I am a romance author. I sell love for a living! How could I tell people that I’m destroying my very own happily ever after? How can I sell happiness when I’m not?

On a personal level, I didn’t want to talk to friends or family about it very much. I didn’t want them to pick sides or to hate him. I didn’t want them to judge us for our failures, especially when some family has just been eagerly waiting for us to fail since day one. I carefully and cautiously picked and chose what I told to who, and who got to see into my life–though no one ever got the full picture.

I was hurting. Badly. My motherhood was ripped from me time and time again. My marriage was disintegrating. My career felt like a fraud. My friendships felt distant as I pushed them away.

I was so alone, and it was partially my own fault.

It was time to make some changes. I couldn’t keep living the way we were anymore. First, therapy. So. Much. Therapy. I began going every week on my own to a therapist, and Justin and I went every week to a marriage counselor. Honestly, it made everything worse. It fucking sucked. I’ve never worked so hard in my entire life.

But then it wasn’t worse. In fact, it was a lot better. It was actually kind of amazing.

That’s kind of what therapy does. It tears open the old wounds that never properly healed, slowly cleans them out while you’re screaming and writhing in pain and begging it to stop, then stitches it back together and allows you to heal for the first time ever.

I went on vacation by myself for the first time, healing my old wounds. Justin finally found what combination of medication he needed to manage his illness with minimal side effects. He also found a new job, one that actually fulfills him and lifts his spirits. Finally, we moved back to our favorite area and out of Murderville.

We learned to talk to one another again. To get out of our own ways, and stop holding our pains against one another. We slowly…so slowly…began to open up again, and come together. We began talking about the future again…believing we actually have a future.

We began to fall in love again, with each other and with ourselves.

Why am I telling you this long story? Well, it’s actually just the preamble. A year later, our relationship is still repairing and still learning, but we’re happy. We’re in love again. We know that after having gone through all of that divorce is no longer an option. We made it through the worst.

Now that we’ve done the work/are doing the work (because it’ll never really be over since we’ll always need to be working on our relationship in order to keep it healthy), we’re ready to begin trying for a family again. We both want to be parents. Hell, being a mother has been my dream since I was a little girl. I have no doubt in my mind that Justin would be an amazing father–so loving, kind, and a strong example of the type of man I’d want my future sons to be.

You know what that means? BABY MAKING TIME! 

Here’s the kicker, though. The moment we were finally able to have everything we wanted–a family–we realized we actually didn’t want that at all. At least, not yet. The truth is, we weren’t ready to be parents because we hadn’t just been a couple yet. We’d been together for almost 5 years, and yet we hadn’t really been able to enjoy that time as a young, married couple. We had spent so much time trying to keep it all together and make ends meet, that we hadn’t just stopped and enjoyed life!

But, don’t get me wrong, we still want to be parents. We just want to be us first. I mean, I’ll only be 28 years old on September 23rd–I HAVE TIME, GUYS. I’m still so young and vibrant. 😂 (Side note: You’re welcome to start buying birthday presents for me now, kthxbye!)

So, we hatched a plan! We made a pre-baby bucket list! It’s exactly what it sounds like–a fun list of things we want to do before we come parents. Honestly, I think we can get most of it done this fall and then start trying again for a baby in the spring, but we’re not putting any pressure on it right now.

Our list has 10 things to do together, and then 3 separate things for each of us. I’m super excited, and we’ve already got some things in the works!

Ready for our list? Read below!


The Robinson’s Pre-Baby Bucket List:
1) Visit another country (Trip to Iceland booked for November!)
2) Have an actual honeymoon (See Iceland plans above.)
3) Go to at least 3 comedy shows (Went to a Laurie Kilmartin stand-up show and Jon Lovitz stand-up show in September, and Kevin James stand-up in October! Also scheduled to see Trevor Noah and Joel McHale in November!)
4) Go to a concert together (Booked tickets to Pentatonix! And Sarah went to see Ed Sheeran!)
5) Spend an entire weekend in bed (So enjoyable)

6) Take a couple’s cooking class
7) Visit Chicago for a weekend
8) Go to Oktoberfest and wine festivals with friends, and drink all the booze, all the time(Done, and I’m still hungover.)
9) Take at least 2 day trips to new places on random road trips with no scheduling ahead of time (Took a day trip to an orchard, first down!)
10) Sell our children’s book series (See PJ Marsie)

 

Individual Pre-Baby Bucket Lists:
– Finish edits on the secret non-romance project and sell (Sarah)-
I really need to get on this.
– Sign a new book deal (Sarah)- Coming soon!
– Sell audio and/or print rights to my self-pub book(s) (Sarah)-Working on it!

– Skydiving (Justin)
Go to his first NFL game (Justin)
Done! Justin attended a Jets game on October 1st, and then a Ravens game on October 15th!
Drive an exotic car (Justin)

*Items crossed off means we’ve completed them!


All of this was probably way more information than you wanted to know about us, and I’ll probably get a few family members calling me up telling me to not air my dirty laundry (*eye roll*), but Justin and I are not afraid to live our lives publicly. And, yes, he read and approved all this before I posted it. Duh. 😂
(Side Note: Justin is currently in Texas bringing supplies to shelters and working with the Coast Guard and National Guard to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Totally voluntarily. I mean…how lucky am I to be that man’s wife? 😍 Pray for him down there, ya’ll.)

When I felt so alone last year, reading that other people were going through it too would have really helped me. So, I’m hoping by posting this, someone out there who may be struggling in their relationship will find some comfort. Our mistakes aren’t only ours. We’re not the only people to struggle with marriage or the possibility of parenthood.
You’re not alone, and neither am I.

❤️❤️❤️

Stay tuned on my Facebook (or Facebook page) and Instagram as we work through this list because I’m going to be posting all about it!  I’m going to need to need all your help and support with this, guys! Help hold us accountable for getting shit done! (Side note: What should my pre-baby bucket list hashtag be? It’s gotta be quirky and unique! Give me suggestions in the comments!)
Let’s get crazy and make bad decisions together! 

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When The Bachelor Teaches Us Why Women Don’t Report

*Trigger Warning: I’m about to rant about sexual assault and victim blaming because I have no fucks left to give.*

Here’s the Back Story: In the last few days, the news has come out that the “reality” television show, Bachelor in Paradise, has been cancelled due to allegations of sexual assault while filming (read more here and here). Long story short, a female contestant was filmed “hooking up” with another contestant while extremely drunk and consent was no longer possible. Producers allowed it to continue, rather than stepping in, and now the show is being sued and cancelled.


Sexual assault and/or rape is one of the only types of crime where the victim’s past personal history gets to be part of the decision on whether there was/wasn’t a crime committed.

“Well, she’s always been a slut. It’s not like this happening is surprising.”

“She was an attention seeker, so this is probably what she wanted. I’m sure it’s all a ploy for fame and money.”

“She was drinking, and we all know her reputation. What did she expect?”

“She had a boyfriend and went on a dating show, so who’s really to blame here? She should have known better.”

The things I’m seeing online today (literally quotes above are from Twitter ) about Corinne’s assault on #BachelorinParadise are literally disgusting. Absolutely has my stomach turning, and I am NOT okay with any of it. In fact, I’m completely raging over it and probably gone off on a million people today over it.

Worst yet, I work with sexual abuse victims a lot and have gotten half a dozen messages today from people thanking me for saying something because they’ve been victims in the past and this entire ordeal is unbelievably triggering for them.

Honestly, it is for me, too.

Is she still talking to the man who assaulted her? Probably. Being assaulted while you’re both drunk is emotionally fucking confusing and it can take a lifetime to figure out where to place blame in your mind.

Is she suing the show? Fuck yes. The producer’s promised to protect her and then watched her be assaulted on camera.

Does she have a history of promiscuity and dramatic behavior? Who cares. Irrelevant. Next.

So, you think she did this for fame and money? YEAH, BECAUSE BEING A VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT HAS EVER WORKED OUT TO BENEFIT THE VICTIM IN THE PUBLIC’S EYE. EVER. What the hell are you smoking?

Did she have a boyfriend before going on a dating show? Maybe, but again, who cares? That’s for her and her boyfriend to figure out, and you’re lying to yourself if you think producers weren’t full aware and just wanted her on for ratings anyway.

Are her castmates now unfollowing her on social media, so she must be a liar because otherwise they’d be speaking out on her behalf? Are. 👏 You.👏 Kidding.👏 Me.👏 With.👏This. 👏 Shit. 👏  Her castmates lost a big payday and are blaming the woman who spoke up and “caused” it. Big shock–people aren’t supporting an assault victim. It’s disgusting, but it in no way reflects on the victim, but rather on the castmates for being vile.

I don’t give A FLYING FUCK whether she’s been promiscuous in the past, whether she was blackout drunk, whether she was making good choices, blah blah blah.

When a woman is sexually assaulted, it’s a damn shame that the public’s first reaction is to blame her.

What’s happening on social media today is exactly why so many women (and men!) choose not to report sexual assault.

For fuck’s sake. Be better, people.

#EndRant #VictimBlamingIsSo2007 #OverThisShit
#ThrowsMicrophoneatChrisHarrisonsStupidFace #FuckThisFranchise#BIP 

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When Marching Isn’t Enough…

I know, I know. With a title like that, this post could be going any direction, right? Well, stick with me ’til the end and you can decide for yourself.

Today, myself and half a million other women (and men!) marched in Washington, DC (and millions of others around the globe) for women’s rights.

The experience was unlike anything I’ve ever been through before, and I am forever changed by it. We were shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of thousands of people marching through the streets of Washington, DC a day after one of the most contentious elections in the history of our country.

I expected fierce. I expected loud. I expected drama.

And it was all of those things, but it was so much more. The march was soft and kind. It was generous and giving. It was open and warm. The air was alive–literally electrified–with spirit and excitement and unison. I’ve always spoken of wanting a unified country, but for the very first time I felt it.

Strangers held hands and sang together. People danced and twirled. Chants and mantras filled the air as women helped each other stand taller, stronger, wiser, firmer.

Women offered me free snacks, waters, hats, and other merchandise. We were just sisters, and generosity of spirit ran rampant in the crowd. There were for-profit stands on the sides of the march selling products, but they were all men. Draw whatever conclusions you’d like from that.

There was no question of what we were fighting for in that crowd. Our signs called for equal pay, affordable birth control, safe environments, an end to rape culture, and so much more. We weren’t anti-Trump. We were pro-women. We were afraid. We were brave. We are staring into the future, terrified, but facing it head on and not backing down.

My sign!

However, here’s where the rub comes.

Upon arriving home, I saw two things online and on the television: support or confusion. There were countless posts praising the marchers, and from the marchers, all around the globe. Do you understand the magnitude of that? All 7 continents, and dozens of countries marched for America, for women, and for American women. When’s the last time you saw a march in downtown Washington, DC for another country? This is record breaking. It is historic. It is unprecedented. We, as Americans, and as humans, owe people around the entire globe a thank you for supporting us in a time where it feels like our own government isn’t. Thank you.

They got it. They were there, or they wanted to be. They saw the purpose. They knew what it meant and they knew why it mattered.

Then there were all the men and women who didn’t get it. Who said on social media that women were already free, so why are we complaining. Who talked on the news and boiled today down to a one topic issue (ie: abortion) and decided the whole thing was shit. Who said women in America have it better than women in some other countries, so we should be grateful. Who said…stop marching. There’s no point. It means nothing. You mean nothing.

And that, ladies, is why this post is called When Marching Isn’t Enough.

They weren’t there. They didn’t see the crowd of extremists with a megaphone shouting “fags will burn in hell” and the crowd of women singing love songs, arms linked, in front of them.  They didn’t feel the strength and unity of women smiling and holding their head high despite the men in “Make America Great Again” hats on the side laughed and called out ratings for the women’s attractiveness level as they walked past, and the women who invited those men to march with us anyway because this march is so much greater than a new president. They didn’t see the women who had made hundreds of hats by hand and were distributing them freely to the crowd. They didn’t see the mothers who’d made snack bags for marchers just to make sure we were all okay.

They didn’t see the look on a woman’s face when she realizes her male coworker with less experience and time at the same job makes more than her. They can’t understand the frustration of paying exorbitant fees for birth control and pap smears when a man’s erectile dysfunction pills and prostate exams only cost a small copay. They didn’t feel the flush of humiliation when a strange man gropes us with zero regard for our wishes, reminding us that this body isn’t ours, but rather a dispensable puppet for any man’s fantasy. They didn’t feel the rise in blood pressure, the panic in our lungs, when walking alone and hearing footsteps behind you and quickly wondering what you’re wearing right now–would it look like you wanted it? They didn’t feel that sinking in their gut when the judge tells you the man who raped will only receive 3 months on probation because his future is more important than your justice.

They weren’t there. 

So, ladies, bring the march home.

Teach the people around you what “equal rights” really means. Hold your head up high and don’t be afraid to ask for what you know you deserve. Educate the next generations on how we can do this better. We can demand better. Feel the strength of the millions of women who were there today now standing behind you telling you that you can do this. We got you.

You deserve equal rights. You deserve affordable healthcare. You deserve to make your own choices about your body. You deserve to feel safe from sexual assault. You deserve laws that will punish abusers. You deserve the same pay as your male counterparts. You deserve to be defined by who you are, not what sex organs you were born with. You deserve freedom.

It wasn’t enough to just march today and then move on. This isn’t over. This problem doesn’t just go away. In fact, it may get worse. Take the march home, ladies. Take it with you wherever you go.

#WhyIMarch #WomensMarchonWashington

PS: I met Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants, and spent the day with her! It was amazing!

For more photos, check out my Facebook or my Instagram.

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Healing In A Moment: My Vermont Trip

It’s always a sobering and awe-inspiring moment for me when I look back and see how all the puzzle pieces fell in just such a way to create our lives how they were always meant to be.

It’s no secret that New Year’s Day is a tough anniversary for me. I’ve been open about why on my blog (here and here and here). Today is seven years since the day I was raped, and the first year that I’ve actually dealt with it head on.

Healing only happens with time, but it also happens in a moment. It’s all the little guard rails that push us back onto our course and keep us centered. It’s the fated people and places that point us to where we needed to go.

This weekend, I’m in Vermont staying at an AirBnb that I randomly chose off their website. It was the cheapest option, looked safe, and so I booked it. Upon arriving, I realized that the woman who owns the home I’m renting a room in is everything I’ve ever needed, and everything I wasn’t ready for until right now.

She’s a therapist, and a writer. Just like me.
She’s an animal lover, and a spiritual soul. Just like me.
She’s quiet and introverted, but loving and inviting. Just like me.
She’s recovering and healing from her own New Year’s Day assault…just like me.

The coincidence is shocking, but also…not. Life is magical like that. It puts the perfect people in front of you that you needed in that moment. She healed a vital piece of me in the moment our confessions melted together and we recognized a shared brokenness.

In that single instant, I felt a mend.
Small, but substantial.

We spent the weekend together, facing our same demon together, burning effigies and writing confessions and sorrows on scraps of paper to toss into the ash at midnight on New Year’s Eve. We had dinner and talked for hours and it feels like I’ve always known her, because maybe in a way, I have.

I was always meant to meet her. She was always meant to meet me. We were always meant to mend a tiny piece of the other.

Tomorrow, I leave for Canada and I already feel more spiritually full and happy than I’ve felt in years. This trip has barely started, and yet, I never want it to end.


Follow Sarah on her trip by following her on Instagram (@booksbysarahrobinson) and/or Snapchat (@booksbysarahrob)!

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2017: The Year of ‘Me First’

Burlington Earth Clock, Vermont

 

On the last day of 2016, I stood in the center of the Burlington Earth Clock and thought about time. Seems obvious, I know, but stick with me. In (corny) truth, it really was the perfect setting for considering the time behind me and the time stretched out ahead.

2016 was, by far, one of the hardest years of my life. I lost myself so entirely, and hadn’t even seen it coming. By the time I realized I was lost, there were nothing around to help me find my way back.

At first I looked for who was to blame. My job. My marriage. My husband. My town. My house. My “friends.” My family. My anything that wasn’t me. This wasn’t my fault. Someone else gave me bad directions and now here I am, lost and angry.

So goddamn angry. But the anger is good. Really good, actually, because it fueled me. First, in the wrong direction, but at least I was moving, at least I was changing. When I finally realized that lashing out at the world around me wasn’t making me feel any better, I started looking within. I realized that despite all the shitty breaks I’ve had and crappy circumstances (or people) I’ve been forced to deal with, none of those controlled my happiness. Nothing that was happening to me had anything to do with who I was or what would make me happy.

Only I could do that.

And then, I wasn’t so lost anymore. When you are the one drawing the map, it’s impossible to get lost. Everything is in your control…everything is in my control. I can choose to be happy, even in an unhappy place, unhappy time, or with unhappy people. Those things and people aren’t in charge of my soul, my spirit, my mood.

I am in charge.

2017 is going to be the year of “me first,” and I won’t apologize for that selfishness. I’m no good to anyone until I’m good to myself first. Years of putting my needs on the back-burner for other people has taught me that, and taught me that it’s time for a change.

In the coming year, I’m drawing my own map. I’m slowly going to find myself again, and revel in everything that I forgot I once loved about myself.

I’m going to fall in love again, but this time…with me.

 

Follow Sarah on her trip by following her on Instagram (@booksbysarahrobinson) and/or Snapchat (@booksbysarahrob)!

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Best of 2016: Sarah’s Favorite Reads & “Writes”

Two days until Christmas, and only a few more after that until 2016 is over (thank freaking goodness because this year has sucked–see why on my blog here or here), so it’s time to share some of my favorite reads of the year! And tell me your favs in the comments!

 

Top Favorite Read of 2016:

 

This is a memoir from Red from OITNB, or Captain Jane from Star Trek Voyager (where I first met her) & it has all the feels. It’s so eloquently, beautifully written that even the sad parts are wonderful. It’s an amazing story of being a young actress in a pre-tech, all-glam Hollywood world. 
 

Other “Read in 2016” Top Favs:

 

Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

This book is ‘MERICA. I loved, loved, loved it. It’s heartwarming and sweet, but sexy and unexpected. In fact, Love, Chloe and Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre were also some of my favorite reads this year so you should probably just buy them all.
 
This whole series is perfect college, new adult romance. I adored the characters, the connected plots, and the alpha males. Easy, happy, wonderful reads. Highly recommend.
 
The Calendar Girl Series by Audrey Carlan
I literally devoured these. How could you not? They were quick, sexy, steamy, and made me seriously want to be a call girl for a hot second. From book one I was like, how is she going to pull this off with 12 books and 12 dudes and make it romance…yet, she did and it was amazing!
 
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
This is a collection of short stories and essays that I listened to on Audible, and man, I loved it. They are laugh out loud funny, very quirky, and take a ton of imagination. It’s so different and unusual, and made me smile. Highly recommend!!!
 
Wifey 101 by Jamie Otis
Aside from being a wonderful friend, Jamie has graced my life this year with a heartfelt, honest memoir about her life. It’s beautiful, eye-opening, and brutally real in a way that makes you reflect on your own life. For anyone who loves memoirs, The Bachelor, or Married At First Sight TV show!
 
Technically, I had a lot more favorites this year, but I can’t list them all! I read over 55 books this year (plus, I wrote 5!). I’m super excited about what’s coming in 2017, and can’t wait to show you guys, but for now, there’s a little recap below with the books I published this year, plus my holiday novella that you can all pick up now!

 

HOLIDAY NOVELLA

Rocker Christmas
by Sarah Robinson

(Only $1.99 &
#Free on KU)
From the bestselling FORBIDDEN ROCKERS series (http://amzn.to/2iaosNp) comes the sweet conclusion to Logan Clay’s musical journey to find love. In this holiday novella, Logan and Caroline figure out life after fame, while the rest of Logan’s band members begin to take center stage.
 
 

PUBLISHED IN 2016 BY SARAH ROBINSON

Saving A Legend
by Sarah Robinson
(standalone!)
Ex-con gets out of jail only to fall in love with a florist who is the sole guardian for her special needs little sister.
If that doesn’t sound complicated enough, add in a chaotic Irish family and secrets from the past to make this book one of my all-time favorites!
This is the second book in the Kavanagh Legends series, but all can be read as a standalone!
 
Becoming A Legend
by Sarah Robinson
(new release!)
This is the fighter romance to end all fighter romances.
An MMA National Championship in Vegas, a surprise wedding, a enemies-to-lover favorite, tacos (yeah…), and even some mafia action?
This is part of the Kavanagh Legend series but can be read as a standalone since each novel is about a different Kavanagh brother.
 
Not A Hero: A Bad Boy Marine Romance
by Sarah Robinson
(standalone)
8 years in the Marines, Miles is coming home to care to be with his ailing father…and bringing a lot of secrets, pain, and PTSD with him. When his former high-school classmate turns out to be his father’s new nurse, things get interesting fast.
 
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I Have No Answers…But I’ll Find Them

I want to start this post by saying…I’m sorry. You deserve better from me, as my readers and my friends and my family. I also want to say that this post is going to be long, maybe sad, and there isn’t an “I’ll try harder” or “I’ll do better” at the end.

There’s just me saying “this is all I’ve got” and “I have no answers, but I’ll find them.”

[warning for those with triggers, this post gets real]

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Every December since 2010, I’ve spiraled. Hard. Anxiety hits me like a truck, and depression swoops in to feast on what’s left. I told you all this in my blog post on my website in November about my long struggle with depression. What I didn’t tell you was why or…why now.

I didn’t tell you that at a New Year’s Eve party, only 3 hours into 2010, I was raped and assaulted by a man I trusted. A man I’d considered a best friend. A man I’d considered safe.

For a long list of reasons I may or may not talk about one day, I dealt with this alone. I turned the police officers away in the emergency room when I was being stitched up, and I kept it to myself. I put that night away in a little box and never touched it again.

I spent every year since avoiding New Year Eve celebrations like the plague, always finding an excuse to stay busy. And as the years past, I thought I’d dealt with it. I thought I was okay.

For the first year since, I’m struggling to find the reasons why I’m okay. I’m struggling to remember the distractions I used or what I focused on instead, and for the first time, I’m realizing…I’m not okay. Not even a little bit. I’ve never dealt with this piece of me and never realized that it had already crept out of its box and infected so much of my life. I’m not okay because I’ve never healed, and that is okay. I wasn’t ready then, but I think…I think I’m ready now.

I had a book release ten days ago and I’ve struggled to keep up. I’ve struggled to promote this book the way I normally would, to be online as much as I should, to be as jovial as I should, and I know that’s reflected in how the book is doing. You, as my readers, deserve better than that from me and I’m so sorry.

I know this entire post is different than my usual comedic ramblings or upbeat optimism, but everyone is their own fighting battles and I want to show you both parts of me. I want to be real and open because I need to be, for me, and because I want to be, for you. Because maybe one person will read this post and think…”I’m not alone. I was hurt, too. I haven’t healed, too. I need to heal, too.”

If that’s you, walk this road with me. Feel with me. Heal with me.

I don’t have the answers, but I’m looking for them. I want to feel the same *stars in my eyes* excitement over this book release (because this book is so great and it so deserves that!) that I’ve felt before, but the reality is I’ve closed everything off–both the good and the bad. I can’t feel…anything. And I need to find it again–both for myself, and for my writing.

I need to find me, and I’m going to. I’m going on a trip alone for New Years Eve. I’m spending it by myself in total silence, and not letting a single distraction get between me and healing the parts of me I’ve left broken for so long.

So, this whole post is just me saying I might be stepping back from social media a bit, or seeming a bit off. I might even be a little quieter than before, and I hope you’ll understand. I’m on empty, and I can’t really find where it all went, but it’s gone and I feel, in a way, so am I.

The only thing I do know is I won’t be lost forever. I will find me. I will come back with a roar, beating my chest like a warrior who fought her way out and triumphed. All I really hope for this post and this message is that you’ll be here waiting when I do.

Don’t give up on me. Please.
I haven’t given up on myself. 


Update:
These three blog posts continue to discuss my healing progress and growth:
1) I Didn’t Get Out Of Bed Today
2) The Year of “Me First”
3) Healing in a Moment


Above content originally posted on Sarah’s Facebook page here.

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Sarah’s Top 5 Favorite Apps That Cost $0

Everyone who knows me knows that books are my favorite thing of all the things, because…books. However, in the spirit of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the shopping happening this week, I’m going to tell you some of my favorite things that won’t cost you a gosh darn penny and really have nothing to do with writing or reading, because why not?

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite apps or programs that I use literally every day and kind of make my life. Everything on here, I’ve tried so you can be assured I mean it. However, keep in mind that for some of these I’m also using affiliate links which means I get a little credit, or some times a couple dollars.

TL, DR: We’re talking Digit Savings, theSkimm Daily News, Shine Daily Texts, Breaking News App, and Starbucks Rewards (because, duh).

Anywho, check it out and tell me in the comments which apps you use and love on a daily basis!


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When I Can’t Save $ For Sh*t

A friend introduced me to Digit last Spring and it’s seriously been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself (aka, I’ve saved $2,000 without even trying). This is a real bank account (yes, real bank account with FDIC insured and the whole nine yards) that saves for you without you having to do a thing. It basically automatically pulls a few dollars here and there from your checking account and puts them in a Digit Savings Account.

How It Works: Set up the Digit app (also done via text) with your checking account and start saving! That simple! You’ll get weekly alerts (or more/less frequent if you want) and you can set how aggressively it saves for you. You can also transfer $ back to your checking account in 1 business day, and you get $5 if someone signs up with your link (Hint!). It won’t overdraft you either, but if on the off chance it does, it will reimburse you everything including the bank overdraft fee (you can also set it so it doesn’t save if your account is below a certain $ amount just in case this makes you nervous!). Now you’ll have a nice cushion of money for emergencies, or a fun goal like a vacation fund or car fund or whatever else you’re saving for! We’re saving up for a car (or maybe that mythical honeymoon we never had *sigh*).

Learn more about Digit at https://digit.co.


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When I Don’t Know What’s Up In The World

Thankfully, a team of snarky, smart, sweet millennials is at the ready to give me the latest news in a less-than-2-minute read in my daily Skimm that goes out to millions of readers, including big-time celebrities like Oprah. Yes, this is Oprah approved! Also, this is bipartisan, so whoever you voted for, you can feel safe reading this!

How It Works: Every Monday through Friday, you get an email about the latest current events happening all around the world. You’ll sound a lot smarter at dinner parties and family gatherings because of it, plus Amazon Echo’s Alexa can read it out loud to you (set that up here) so you’ll feel knowledgable as hell during your morning pee! Side Note: They do have an app that’s $2.99/month and totally awesome and more in depth than the free email, but hey, free is free!

Subscribe to theSkimm today at theskimm.com.


When I Need A Happy Start To My Day

The Shine text has been my lifeline through this election season, and hell, every season. Every Monday through Friday at around 8:30am, I receive an uplifting text message about life, motivations, and positivity.

Here’s an example of the last text I got:
“It is not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.” Love. Connectedness. Stretchy pants. Take it all in today, Sarah. #ShineOn 🙂 

Now who wouldn’t want to start their day off with a sprinkle of encouragement?

Sign up to receive your free Shine text at shinetext.com.


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When I Can’t Wait 30 Seconds For The News

The Breaking News app is perfect for news junkies like me because I can get all the latest breaking news in one sentence or less immediately.

How It Works: Download the app to your phone and make sure notifications are set. Now pick up to 10 categories to be alerted on (like the election, US news, local news in your town, etc). If you want more than that, I think you have to pay for it. Now each time something happens, you’ll get a notification on your phone about it! You can get the gist from the notification itself or click on it to read more in depth.

Download Breaking News at breakingnews.com/apps.


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It’s You. It’s Always Been You, Coffee.

I don’t get anything but a pat on the back from myself for telling you this, but if you’re a Starbucks lover, or even occasional buyer like myself, you need this app. I get free drinks all the time just by paying attention to their daily doubles or freebies or other cool promotional days. I also can order drinks from my phone and pay for it with my phone. In fact, if I don’t want to wait in line, I just order it from my phone ahead of time and swoop in at the last minute to pick it up while everyone in line stares at me with murder eyes. It’s fun to be hated by strangers.

How It Works: Download the app and link it to a Starbucks giftcard that you can reload again and again (or once you hit gold level, they send you a personalized gold card!). Order through the app and you’ll collect 2 stars per $1 spent. After 125 stars, you get a free drink of any size or type (you know my free drinks are the fanciest, biggest they have with 8 extra shots and would normally cost $20). It’s really easy to get to 125 stars without spending the $60-something you’d think you need to spend because Starbucks does tons of promotions for 50 free stars, 150 free stars, free daily double star points, free stars for ordering XYQ, etc. You just have to pay attention to the deals! 🙂 If you buy cheap drinks (think tea, coffee, iced coffee) instead of fancy drinks, then you really end up spending a lot less and getting the free drink sooner.

Break It Down For Me: For example, they recently had a deal where 9 purchases (over $1) within a week got you an extra 150 stars on top of the stars that each of the purchases normally gets you. By ordering 9 simple drinks like a grande brewed coffee between me and my husband, we spent $22.50 in a week and earned 150 stars, plus the 45 stars that our purchases got us (aka 195 total). In case that seems like a lot of coffee to you, I’m there every day all day writing so it’s kind of like rent to me (I seriously am talking like 50+hrs a week). That’s almost 2 free drinks right there (250 would be 2 free), and since I get a trenta-sized speciality holiday coffee drink with extra shots for my free drink (a $16.86 value according to my receipt), I pretty much paid $5.64 for 10 drinks, including a fancy as hell drink, and I’m only a few stars away from another free drink in a few days. Side note: I’m horrible at math. 

Side Note for Writers: If you get regular coffee or iced coffee, and I think even tea, you can get a $0.50 refill if you’re still in the store when you finish it! You can hang out all day and drink 6 grande coffees for under $5 and only a minor heart attack. Talk about a cheap office! (Note: the 50 cent refills don’t earn you star rewards). 

Join Starbucks Rewards at members.starbucks.com.


 

For more about Sarah Robinson and her books, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at eepurl.com/RUobv.

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I Didn’t Get Out Of Bed Today, And I Might Not Tomorrow

Trigger Warning: If you’re familiar with my blog, you know things are about to get real AF. You also know you’ll probably feel better at the end of this post than you do now when you realize you’re not alone…or maybe I’m just hoping I’m not alone. Either way, take care of yourself. 

PS: I also curse a bit…because who doesn’t?


 

I didn’t get out of bed today, and I might not tomorrow. I might not the day after tomorrow either, and I’m trying to be okay with that.

I’m being slightly dramatic, since obviously I went to the bathroom and the fridge, then wound up on the couch wrapped in blankets with my laptop…but the feelings are the same.

When I first considered writing this post a few weeks ago, I was going to wait until I was “all better”. Until I was out on the other side, after I’d already reached the bottom and climbed my way up to the top. Because I will be up on my feet again…eventually. That’s how living the last two decades with Major Depressive Disorder works.

For a while, everything is okay. It’s tolerable, and some days, it’s even amazing. You’re happy and chill and things seem like they finally have all worked out. And you’ve earned it because you’ve been there, you’ve been at the bottom, you’ve gone through the worst, and you’ve paid your dues. This is your moment. This is what you were striving for during all those tears. It’s delicious and intoxicating…but it’s also fleeting.

Next come the days that aren’t so great, but not horrible, and that’s okay because it’s still not a depressive episode. It’s still tolerable, and you’re still managing your life.

But even that melts down over a few weeks, or months, or years that are hard. Really fucking hard. Your defenses are knocked down and one day, you just can’t put them back up again.

A little over a year ago, my walls started crumbling. My life suddenly didn’t look anything like I’d anticipated, or wanted. But I’m a strong woman–really damn strong, actually.

So, I powered through and tried to keep a smile on my face, and humor in my words.

I powered through a car accident. Through a miscarriage, then another, then another. I powered through losing people I loved, supports I’d come to depend on, and even the very basics of life–my home, my car, my income, my finances. I powered through losing my freedom, my weekends, or even remembering what a full fridge looks like.

Because I’m a strong woman, I powered through.

And then one day, I didn’t. My walls fell for the last time, and I scrambled like hell to find a way to build them back up, but found myself empty-handed.

I had nothing left.

I know the exact second it happened a little over a month ago now. I remember the feeling…one second I was there, then the next second I wasn’t. There was no specific trigger or reason or traumatic event that deserved this.

I’d  given the very last of what I had, and now I was empty.
It was that simple. It was that fast.

I knew my next depressive episode had started…but no one else did. How could they? I still went through the motions, and met the bare minimums, and smiled when people asked how I was doing. Only my agent saw the pages I wasn’t turning in or the phone calls I wasn’t answering. Only my husband saw the daily tears, or found me  crying curled on the shower floor unable to stand. Only my closest friends saw the emptiness in my eyes and probed further. Only I felt the physical pain of seemingly unbearable heartache throbbing in my chest.

People continued to love and laugh with my online posts or pictures, because they didn’t see that things had changed. I didn’t let them see. They cheered me on, and a few women have even told me they wish they were just like me. I’d smile and laugh it off, because they didn’t really know what they were asking for.

Sometimes I wish I was like the me they saw, too. But it felt like a lie….how could anyone want to be me?

I don’t want to be me.

They just love the online me. They think I’m great because they see the me who’s smiling and tells funny stories and writes sexy books and is always there to help other authors when they need it and so much more.

But that me…is me. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that I am both. I am all of those parts put together, and how could I want anything else?

I can be the woman laughing about a silly encounter with a stranger at the local coffee shop and the woman who feels everything is falling apart and she doesn’t know how to put it back together. I can be the author who helps her friends with their books and the author who didn’t write any words today because depression stole her motivation. I can be the happy fur-mom who posts a thousand pictures of her dogs and the almost-mom who’s lost three babies before she ever could hold them and tell them just how much I’ll always love them.

I can be both, and all of the above, because humans are so many puzzle pieces mashed together and it doesn’t always fit. The picture is sometimes blurry, but it’s all still me. I’m still me.

Someone told me once that I should always be striving to be my best self. Fuck that noise. 

My best self is a full life, and that has to mean I won’t always be at “my best.” There will be tears. There will be grief and sadness and anger and hatred and an ache that feels it may never go away. And that’s okay, because my best self is also joy and love and kindness and celebration and everything else combined.

I’m choosing to live my full life, not my best life. To accept the down days and celebrate the happy ones. To appreciate the laughter because I’ve been best friends with the tears. To mope in self-pity where everything is horrible because the world is vicious and at the same time, be overwhelmed at the genuine kindness of strangers who only wanted to remind me this world can be so wholly beautiful.

My full life is wonderful and painful and joyful and devastating.

I am a strong woman…even when I’m not. I am kind, and loving, and difficult, but worth the trouble. I am all the things people tell me I am even when I don’t believe them. And in the same breath, I’m in so much pain that every breath feels like a question.

But, one day I won’t be. One day, I’ll smile and feel it in my chest, in the beat of my heart, and the lightness in my soul.

But not today. And maybe not tomorrow.
And that’s okay. That’s a full life. 


Author’s Note: If you’re someone struggling with depression or feelings of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line if you need someone to talk to in a non-life threatening crisis by texting START to 741-741. Please seek help if you need it. You are strong. You are brave. You deserve to be here. 

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