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Today I’m thrilled to be a part of Stina Lindenblatt’s TELL ME WHEN Blog Hop. Stina is a fantastic follower and become a good friend. So I’m beyond thrilled to help celebrate her book debut. You can stop by Stina’s blog HERE to see her post and all the other blogs participating in this blog hop.

Because her book deals with a college freshman struggling with being stalked and kidnapped in her senior year of high school, Stina is asking us to discuss something about stalking. And she’s donating $1.00 for each blog participant to a woman’s emergency shelter. She’s doing this because a common form of stalking comes from an abusive relationship whether the woman is still in the relationship or after it’s ended.

Thankfully I don’t have a personal experience of stalking to share. But I do know the fear of it. I had to work to help put myself through college and then I worked to totally pay for law school on my own. I was a waitress because I could make good money working evenings at an upscale restaurant. I couldn’t afford a car, so I walked home 3-5 nights a week between 11:30 to 12:30 at night. I was petrified of someone stalking me or just seeing me out there alone and sexually assaulting me.

Now I have a daughter who’s a junior in high school and will be going away to college soon. And I have that same fear for her of walking alone at night and being the victim of some attacker. Or having a guy stalk her at a bar or party and spike her drink. All I can do is to teach her to be smart (she is). And encourage her not to walk alone at night and have a buddy at any parties or at a bar. I also now make a point not to let her walk alone in the dark. Many of the girls walk to the bus in the dark in the morning. I could let her do it too. But I don’t because I’m her buddy for now. And I hope she’ll remember that I did not let her walk alone in the dark when she’s out on her own.

It’s so sad we have to worry about stalking and other crimes against women. I guess we all just have to do our part to try not to be victims of this, to create a world where these things don’t happen, and to support any girls, women, or guys (because I think guys can be victims too) who we know that are victims of these terrible crimes.

Here’s a blurb of TELL ME WHEN from Goodreads:

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of
becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

What about you? Do you have any experiences about stalking to share?

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday when I interview debut author Rosamund Hodge with a ARC giveaway of CRUEL BEAUTY, her YA dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

And next Wednesday I interview Stina and give away a copy of TELL ME WHEN. I loved Amber and Marcus, the two main characters. They really made the book fantastic for me. And Stina has a awesome road to agent and book deal story you won’t want to miss.

And don’t forget Casey’s Tip Tuesday and Agent Spotlights!

Hope to see you on Monday1


Creepy Query Girl said...

yay! Congrats Stina! It's so great to see success for someone so talented and dedicated as she is and TELL ME WHEN sounds like a great read. Can't wait!

Stina said...

Thanks Katie!

And thanks, Natalie, for participating. This blog hop has made me realize something. We worry about cyberbully and issues like that, but I wonder if we have, as parents and society in general, done enough to education our youth about the dangers of stalking and how to avoid becoming victims. Most adults don't even know how to avoid it.

Kristin Lenz said...

So excited for Stina's book! And I love the idea of linking your book with support for a women's shelter. My social work career started in college with a class that required volunteering - I chose a domestic violence shelter. That training was so eye-opening, I've used it with every group of teen girls I've worked with since.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Natalie,
You're right - it's sad that our children have to be extra-smart and extra-careful because of the predators our there.

I hope Stina's book does well. She had some good tips on how to protect ourselves from stalkers.

S.P. Bowers said...

I know I worry about what could happen to my kids much more than I worried about what would happen to me when I was in college.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations to Stina! I've not had any personal experiences with stalking, but I've heard a lot of horror stories.

Jessica Lawson said...

Hooray for Stina! I don't have any stalking stories to share, but I also have a daughter (stepdaughter) that I worry about~ she's in her freshman year of college and I even typed up a (hopefully) paranoid safety list, which her dad and I went over. Scary stuff.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you've taught her to be cautious and smart about it, she'll be all right. I admit I worry about my wife and if she wants to go somewhere in the evenings when it's dark, I always go with her.

Jessie Humphries said...

Wow, that is really cool to promote awareness of this issue. Scary stuff.

Mart Ramirez said...

It is sad to have to worry about things like this. I'm so glad you were protected during all those late nights. I can't imagine walking home alone that late. So glad all was well!

Yay another blog hop stop :-)

Beth said...

Congratulations to Stina!
And I think we all worry about our daughters. It really is frightening.

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

Thank goodness I don't have any personal stories to share... that's frightening. But the book sounds great.

Crystal Collier said...

I was totally worried about becoming a victim while we lived in NYC, but apparently dragging kids everywhere with you is a sure way to stay free from predators. Who'd have guessed?

I'm so excited for Stina!

Emily R. King said...

I only have my one Facebook stalking scare, hence why I'm not on FB. But I've heard some real horror stories.

I look forward to the giveaway!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to Stina!

Glad you don't have a personal story to tell, Natalie, and you're teaching your daughter to stay safe. Of course, I still think it is sad when we wonder what could happen to us by walking alone at night to our homes or vehicles.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Twice. Once, from a guy from one of my classes in high school, and this was the year after we graduated. My dad had to step in. The second time, I was 21? yah. Some weird guy from around the area kept coming into our yard after dark and scared me to death. I actually went to my dad for a gun and did target practice in the late afternoons. I had two roommates who were both considerably older than I was. But he'd wait until they weren't around. Tried to break in the house and got shot in the leg and it was the blood trail that helped the sheriffs find him. Come to find out, had raped several women in the area. I moved away a few months later. Too creepy and plus he swore vengeance on me for fighting back and getting him caught.

I also taught my son not to assume that because he was male and strong he was safe. Always have a buddy with you when you go out so you can look out for each other.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Theresa Milstein said...

It's scary to think of the dangers our children could experience. We give them advice and hope they heed it.

I wish Stina much success with her book!

Stephanie Garber said...

This is such an awesome blog hop! When I was in grad school I worked in a women's resource center, so I know how dangerous and scary it can be on so many college campuses. I'm so glad you're doing so much to help raise awareness, Stina. And TELL ME WHEN sounds awesome!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great post. Yeah. It's a tough thing. Stalkers are scary, and too often a restraining order is just a piece of paper.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Yes, Natalie, you are correct. Guys do get stalked too. It had happened to me on several occasions, but one time was very serious.

Stalkers are sick people. Something snapped in their heads and they believe they have the right to stalk. They can be relentless and deadly. Awareness is the key.

Stina gives us some EXCELLENT tips how to avoid and deal with stalkers.

ALL THE BEST, STINA with your book!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats to Stina. She is a dear friend. Very happy and excited for her. Looking forward to reading her book.

cleemckenzie said...

I've seen Stina's book just about everywhere! Here's wishing her the best of luck with her launch.

Lindy Gomez said...

What a great post Natalie. I'm glad that Stina addressed such an important issue in her book. It made me think about being more aware of my environment, and the fact that safety precautions are necessary. I think it was great how she also had her characters empower themselves by talking about taking self-defense. I think it's great that you are educating your daughter, because I think one of the biggest things needed is awareness. Pepper spray is always a good thing for your daughter to have when she goes away to college. Thanks for sharing this post!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

DMS said...

Congrats to Stina! I have been seeing her book all over the blogosphere and it is on my list to read. It sounds fascinating and I am so curious about the characters.

I think you are doing a great job with your daughter and it sounds like you are teaching her that women can be independent, but we have to take precautions. The buddy system is something I firmly believe in! When I was in college it was the rule with my group of friends and luckily, we didn't have any problems! You might even want to take a self-defense class with your daughter. I took a one day class a few years ago and learned SO much. I felt empowered afterwards and I had a better idea about how to handle different situations.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That fear is always there. Those are horrible scenarios, but I believe they instill caution in girls and women if they're in the forefront of our minds, rather than pushed to the back while being too trusting or unaware.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I always keep it in the back of my mind and try to be aware of my surroundings. I hope your daughter exhibits the same amount of caution.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Natalie, I know you've taught your daughter to be careful and I love that you are still her buddy for now. :-) Looking forward to your interview with Stina next Wed.!

Unknown said...

Stina's cover and blurb are great! Although I've lived in some dangerous places (Worcester and Bridgeport in college and NYC in my 20s), I'm lucky to have had almost no bad experiences. Especially lucky considering I grew up in a small Midwestern town that had a negligible crime rate, so I was rather unprepared for the "big city" and often took or taught classes that had me taking the subway late at night. Believe it or not, Egypt is MUCH safer than any other place I've lived. I could go out at 3 am with money falling out my purse and no one would even speak to me.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's so scary when stalking happens - and raising girls is a bit scary too. We want so bad to keep them safe but we do have to let them go as well. After we've taught them all we can of course!

Nicole said...

Congrats to Stina! It's a scary, but important topic.

Heather said...

Congratulations to Stina! I'm a huge fan of her, and her writing. ;) I just added this to my Goodreads to-read list.

PK HREZO said...

I love Stina's story to publication. So great!
I worked as a waitress thru college as well and yeah there were the creeps that made you feel nervous about who could be waiting for you. There was always a rule that every waitress got walked to their car at night if they worked late, so that was good. I always worked in good neighborhoods too.
Can't imagine what it's like to go thru something like that. *shudders*

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Being smart about it is the first step to being safe :)
Again, congrats to Stina!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I've seen Stina's book on several blogs - congrats to her! Fortunately, I don't have any stalking stories to share, but walking alone at night is always a constant fear for me. I hate that it has to be that way, but I guess it's safer to be unnecessarily fearful than too trusting.