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Thursday, May 2, 2019

My First Love Event with Danielle Ellison

Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her boyfriend, two cats, and three jobs, but you can always find her on Twitter @DanielleEWrites.

When I think of "first love," I don't think of a person. I think of experience, the kind that sticks with you forever, the ones that love you, even in small ways. The one you compare everything else to, good or bad. The kind you write books about. The memory is what makes first love great anyway. It's what you keep with you, long after the experience is over.

Here are some of my first love experiences:

-The first time I went out of the country.

I was a sophomore in college and I went to Guatemala with a group my college on a mission trip. I had never experienced anything like that before - another culture, language, landscape. I loved every second of it. The faces of people we interacted with, the memories of things we did and saw, of food we ate, the coffee I drank...I can still remember all of it. I have been many places since then, some I loved more, but I will always remember my first because it was a dream I always had and hoped to accomplish.

"This is very young Danielle in Guatemala at the Aztec Ruins"

-The first book I published.

SALT was far from the first book I'd written, but it was the first book I published. I had two books come out my debut year, and I was excited about both of them for different reasons but SALT was the first. It made me an author. It meant that years of hard work, emotion and failure had paid off and the other people were going to get to read my words - eek! To this day every time I release a new book, I am met with such joy. A part of my soul is being released into the world with each one, and that is as scary as it is exciting and fulfilling. I feel lucky to you have the chance to write books and to have people who read them. And no matter how many books from now I get to publish, SALT will always have the spot as my first ever.

"I was so excited when SALT came out!"

-The first car I bought with my own money.

Cars are freedom. I got my car seven years ago, and I just paid it off finally last year. It is my second car and it's far from new or anything fancy. It doesn't even have cruise control. I paid every single penny of this car, in the loan repayment is the longest I've ever done anything. Maybe it's weird to put a car on a list of the things that you love, but I'm a nomad. To me, this car is freedom. We've been on many trips together, we've moved to different states together, we've loved and lost together. But my car is home to me in many ways. No matter my zip code, my car is a constant. Long after it's gone, I'm much like the first car I had which I did not pay for, I'll remember this one because of the time effort and energy it took for me to buy it, and all the seasons of life is spent with me.

-The first time I met my cat.

The day a pet and a human find each other is glorious. I didn't mean to get a pet but the day I went and got Simon. But I saw him and he saw me. His little eyes followed me all over that pet store when I tried to walk away. I liked him. Another family was there to get him, but I literally cried when I found out I couldn't have him. The couple who wanted him actually came and found me in the store and told me I should take him. So I did, and we have been together ever since. I've had other cats before Simon, growing up we had lots of pets. But Simon was MY cat. He's the one who chose me, I believe this, and he is special because he's the first cat I ever picked out. My first pet as an adult, and my ultimate companion. I got him when I started a new chapter in my life, right before I turned 30, and I like to think he will be around for at least this whole decade of adventures and loves.

"These are my awesome cats. Simon is the tuxedo, who this post is about, and Elly is the new addition."

Haley Howell has had a hopeless crush on her brother’s best friend, Jake Lexington, for as long as she can remember. Too bad to him, she’ll forever be off-limits. But with senior year and acceptance to a college outside their tiny southern town of Culler, South Carolina, comes new confidence. Haley’s ready to get Jake to notice her—whatever it takes.

No one in Culler notices the real Jake anymore—to them, he’s nothing more than the star football player or the kid with the family tragedy. When one mistake lands him in community service, he’s shocked to find his best friend’s little sister there, too, looking cute as hell and threatening all his no-friends-with-benefits rules. But Jake isn’t ready to take a chance, no matter how crafty Haley’s willing to get to prove him otherwise…

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  • 1 print copy of The Crush Collision

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  1. I look forward to reading this one.

  2. What a fun experience you got to do in Guatemala! Also, I get the car thing. I didn't get my first car until I was 22 and just graduated from college but it was brand new and it was all mine!

  3. The Crush Collision sounds great! Thank you

  4. i bought my own first car 9 years ago. picked it out & paid for it. i still have it. very proud i did it on my own, even at 45 years old!

  5. What a lovely cat and a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love the way you look at first love.