Start Your Engines & Project Semicolon

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. The countdown continues and we’re down to four weeks until green flag drops on Start Your Engines. I can’t wait for you all to meet Gabrielle and Brad and see how their reunion goes after ten years apart. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the blurb.

Buckle up for a race for the championship and the prize of a lifetime in this heartfelt reunion romance.

When racing team director Brad Thomas needs a new driver, his boss insists there’s only one answer: Gabrielle Marquez. The IndyCar ace has newly returned to the United States after becoming one of the European circuit’s top drivers. But ten years ago, Gabrielle caused a crash that ended Brad’s racing career and killed their mutual best friend, along with the burgeoning crush they were exploring.

Gabrielle’s ready to put the past behind her, even though she knows making amends and regaining Brad’s trust won’t be easy. Rebuilding their professional relationship paves the way for healing, and old feelings soon rekindle, but a rival’s dangerous game of sabotage may threaten their team’s chance at the title.

Then an irresistible offers lands on Gabrielle’s windshield, forcing her to choose between her heart and her hard-fought career. Will achieving her professional dreams mean personal sacrifice?

In writing Start Your Engines, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to explore a number of topics of current interest–things like sexism, pay equity, and mental health.

As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with depression in 2012, after a long, dark period which included serious thoughts about suicide. Thankfully, I stepped back from the abyss and got the help I needed. Instead of ending my life, like a period at the end of a sentence, I was able to take a pause and keep going; like a semicolon in the middle of a sentence.

Because my story wasn’t over yet.

In 2013, the non-profit mental health effort, Project Semicolon, was founded. With the slogan, “Your Story Is Not Over,” the organization is dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. You can learn more about Project Semicolon here.

graphic courtesy of Grammarly

One of the ways the message of hope and empowerment of Project Semicolon is spread is through the use of the semicolon tattoo.

In Start Your Engines, Gabrielle has a semicolon tattoo, which plays a big role in her reconciliation with Brad, and a bigger role in a promise Brad makes to Gabrielle.  Mental Heath is an important issue and I hope you’ll take a few moments to learn more about Project Semicolon and the wonderful work it’s doing.

Start Your Engines is being published by Crimson Romance and arrives August 7. You can pre-order your copy by clicking on this link. Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, wishing you sunny skies and smooth roads!

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