Rebecca Donovan's Blog

July 19, 2014

Reason to Breathe is being made into a movie! But not just one—THREE!

Before we all start screaming and jumping around like lunatics (I already have–so I’m not judging) let me tell you the story about how this all happened.

A little over a year ago I met with Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman of Amber Entertainment to discuss adapting The Breathing Series for film. They want to create an exciting and innovative experience for the viewers, meaning you! They recognize that in order for the films to be a success, they need to win you over, and the only way to do that is to give you exactly what you want—the entire story. All of it. Without making any major cuts.

Of course a few edits will be made—we want to make certain the pacing holds your attention. But ideally, what you read will be what you see!! Love that? Me too! So, I agreed to become a partner in this venture that will bring Emma’s heartbreakingly beautiful story to life.

Now that I’m allowed to officially announce the films, I plan to share the entire process with you. And there’s a lot that needs to happen before we begin filming!

Where to begin…

I guess what you should know is that everything takes time. Everything. It’s the part of pre-production that I’m still trying to get used to. I’m a results girl. If I want it, I get it done. But that’s not how the movie industry functions. If you want to do it, there’s an army to hire in order to get it done. But before any of that can happen…we need money. Not surprising, right?

In order to get funded, we have to convince the financiers that this is a brilliant project that they want to be a part of, because my fans, YOU, want this to happen. You will watch it. You will love it. Honestly, we can’t do any of this without you. See how important you are to making this happen? VERY!

So a script was written to capture the characters we all love. I was given drafts. Did I mention there will be three movies? Getting ahead of myself, I know. But I’m just so excited about that part! Okay…I’ll come back to it!

I then took those three scripts and shaped them with my words, allowing the characters and scenes to become exactly as I envisioned them when I wrote the story nearly five years ago. And the imagery is just as clear to me now as it was when I was propped up in my bed during the snowstorm with my computer on my lap. Ileen and Lawrence know how important it is for me to be a contributing screenwriter on this film, and I know you will feel the difference when you see my words come to life on the screen!

Now we have a script. (Or three.) But we still need money…

To help convince financiers that this film will be epic, we need to give them a sense of what the film will be about by providing the feel and mood in ninety seconds. So I recruited the ever amazing and talented Mollie Harper of Tough Critic Book Reviews to create what the industry refers to as a “sizzle reel” (essentially…a book trailer). She shared her experience creating this captivating trailer on her blog http://toughcriticbookreviews.blogspo....

And look what she came up with!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok4yJ...

Amazing, right?! We’ve totally convinced them to invest. No problem!

Here’s the part I keep teasing you with…

In order to translate the story in its entirety, Reason to Breathe needed to be broken up into three movie-length (75 to 90 minutes) episodes. So you could potentially have two hundred and seventy minutes (of just Reason to Breathe) to absorb every emotional moment alongside Emma, Evan and Sara! That makes my heart so very happy!!

It was also decided that instead of releasing the episodes on the big screen, you will be able to access them on (hopefully) the digital platform of your choosing (those details are still being worked out). That way each film will be released to you without the super long wait between the sequels that most big-screen films torture you with. So, no…you won’t be forced to wait a year between each release like some of you had to do with the novels. (Don’t tell anyone, but you’re my favorite fans!) Consider this my gift to you for your patience and support! But seriously, I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Not only am I a screenwriter for the project, I’m also a producer. Which means I am a part of the entire creative process. Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around what this means exactly. But essentially, I get a say in every step. And I will help the production team take the imagery inside my head and make it happen in real life! Well…on a set. But you know what I mean.

So, YES!! Reason to Breathe is becoming three movies. No…I do not know when they will be released. But I will involve you in what’s happening every step of the way. Which means I might get to sneak you behind the scenes…especially when we start casting. So fun, right?! I told you, you are important!!

Next on our list is finding the right director for the project. We’ve begun speaking to a few, and I’m looking forward to hearing their visions. As my readers, you know, there’s so much to this story. It’s a story of love, loss, friendship…and hope. It’s a story about choosing to live. And if we can sign a director with the talent to capture the underlying essence of Emma’s story, the film will truly be unforgettable!

Also…

We have to decide where to film it. Choosing a location is not as simple as finding the state that best represents the book. There’s other way more complicated things to consider, that I won’t concern you with. Just know that we do have locations in mind (Massachusetts being one of them – woo hoo!).

And we have a list of potential casting directors to find us unique and talented actors. Don’t worry—I will absolutely be a part of this process. I’m beyond excited for the auditions!! (I just hope I don’t embarrass myself the moment I see Evan and Emma in front of me and start screaming. Ha! I will try not to scream...or cry.) And before you start throwing names my way, I honestly would love a mostly unknown cast. So that they become the roles, and you only see Emma, Evan and Sara before you.

Yes, I know… We need to cast the perfect Evan. Don’t worry. I will make it happen!

I’ve also been listening to lots of music (torture for me, as you know – ha!) to create the ideal soundtrack. Music can affect the entire mood of a scene. We know how important that can be. (Or at least Evan does.)

And so…

That’s it. It’s happening! Because of you!! Did you hear me screaming “Thank you!” from my rooftop?! (My neighbors did.)

I’ll post soon with updates… I promise!!

Now you may commence screaming and jumping around like lunatics!! I’m right there beside you…

April 19, 2014

By nature, I’m a control freak. An impulsive control freak at that. I get an idea, and I want it done. Right at that very moment. If I can see it in my head, then I want to figure out a way to make it happen.

My mind never shuts off. It keeps me up at night, plaguing me with vision after vision. Insomnia and I are well acquainted. I have six stories in my head, waiting for their turn to talk to me. There’s places I want to visit, causes I’d like to support, concerts to experience, while guiding my son to be the best human possible. I have no idea how to sit quietly and relax… it seems impossible.

Knowing this about myself, the hardest lesson I have had to learn is that I am not in control of my creativity. I am at its mercy. And that does not bide well with a control freak. I have a concept for a story. I know what I want it to be about, who will be in it, and how it will end. But it doesn't mean I can write it.

Writing WHAT IF made me question everything. Even my approach to writing. I started this story over five times. I thought I could write it in three months. It took seven. I tried to plot my points and write from beginning to end like I've always done. I ended up writing out of order within the past and the present, in three different points of view. I thought it was going to be a fun, light love story. It is NOT.

WHAT IF was supposed to be my reprieve from the emotional gutting I’d just been through with The Breathing Series. A cleansing, if you will. That’s not what ended up happening.

This story messed with my head. It challenged me since conception. Writing was counter-intuitive since the story is told by a twenty-year old college guy – which I am not. I had to lose myself to his voice, suppressing my own. There was a point that I considered quitting, and trying another project. However, this story was determined to be told, but in its own way. (Besides… I don’t know how to give up.) In the end, I experienced a creative process I could never have predicted.

There are so many layers to this story. Everything is connected – moments, words, even colors. It’s easy to just enjoy it for what it is when you read it. But if you look closely, you’ll see the interwoven lines of the web that you’re caught within. Everything is on purpose.

So what’s WHAT IF about? It’s not a love story. It’s a life story. It’s about friendship. It’s about love. It’s about second chances. It’s about living the life you want, not the one you’re given.

And I’m so very proud of this story. It’s taught me so much about myself as a writer. Patience being the hardest lesson (that I am still trying to learn). It is unlike anything I’ll ever write. But that’s what I hope to say about each story I create. And after everything I went through, I wouldn't change a thing.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce that I've signed with Grand Central Publishing and they plan to release the eBook of WHAT IF in September 2014 and the paperback in January 2015.

I will keep you apprised of the details as I continue to work with them. I have some amazing things planned for promoting WHAT IF as well that I want you to be a part of!

Since I’m making announcements, I’d also like to share that I’m currently speaking with a production company about making The Breathing Series a movie series. Nothing is “official” yet, which basically means I haven’t signed anything. But I just submitted the screenplay to the team as we continue to move forward. You will hear my scream of excitement echo around the world when I can officially announce it. This will be a cinematic experience unlike any other! I cannot wait!!

One more thing… (This is what happens when I wait until I have news to share before writing a blog post, everything happens at once!) Due to the amount of travel I’m doing this summer, I will begin writing Jonathan’s story this fall! The Burning Series will also be a trilogy: IGNITING LIES, BURNING TRUTH, and ASHES OF REDEMPTION. I have no idea when you can expect them. But I promise to keep you updated as I create his story, which is going to be dark and violent.

I told you I have a whirlwind going on inside my head… and those are just the projects I can announce!!
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Published on April 19, 2014 13:44 • 757 views • Tags: ashes-of-redemption, burning-truth, grand-central-publishing, igniting-lies, rebecca-donovan, the-burning-series, what-if

January 1, 2014

This is the time of year when people reflect upon what has happened and what will be.

But I’d rather reflect upon the now. The moment I’m living in this very second. And this second, for me, is all about honesty.

As real and pure as honesty is, it’s also hard. It’s not always easy to give. And it can be difficult to hear. But acknowledgment of the truth can change the very seconds we’re living in.

It takes courage and strength to be honest with who you are; to look in the mirror and respect the person looking back at you. There are days that person looks like a stranger. Someone you’ve never met before. Someone you don’t want to know. But every day, that person is you. And every day, you should challenge that person to be better.

Better than the day before. Better than the hour before. Better than the second before.

Because you can… you are… better. Look. Can’t you see it?

It may take even more courage and strength to look the person you love and care about in the eye, with the risk of losing them, and want them to want more, from this life. You can’t make them. You can only want it for them.

Because the truth… the honest truth… won’t set them free. Only they can. And that realization may hurt, but the honesty you share might actually save them.

I will always strive to be better –to smile at the reflection looking back at me with acceptance. I love with all that I am. I protect with every ounce of my being. I give until there’s nothing left. And I cannot live without being honest… even if that leaves me with a loss.

I could sit here and reflect upon my amazing moments of 2013… and there have been many. Or I could be excited for what is to come in 2014, because it will be the most life-altering year yet. But I’d rather live in the moment I’m in.

I know there is no better day than the one I’m living… until tomorrow.
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Published on January 01, 2014 09:40 • 598 views • Tags: 2014, amazon-publishing, author, be-better, new-adult, new-year, rebecca-donovan, what-if, young-adult

December 1, 2013

I talk out loud – creating conversation.

I visualize facial expressions – squinting, mouth tightening, furrowing brows.

I observe me – my breathing, my heartbeat, my hands clenching.

Then I listen.

Where is this taking me? What should happen next? How will this all come together?

And then there is silence. I wait. But the voices are mute.

I try to force them, but it’s no use. They will not be persuaded by desperation.

I know the story. I know what needs to be told. But there are no words in the silence. I can’t write them if they are not ready. I can only wait.

And waiting is hard.

Waiting makes me question my choices. Makes me question if I truly deserve to be an author. It shakes my confidence. Induces panic.

Because they are waiting. Wondering what is next. When it will be done. They’re all waiting for me to… write. And so am I.

And then it happens. The voices come rushing at me, so overwhelming I don’t know where to begin… I want to cry. Tears of relief. Tears of joy. A rush of adrenaline. Elation courses through me.

There’s a pounding in my chest because I can see it. I can hear it. The story that’s been waiting, dormant in its formation, is ready to finally be told.

I close my eyes, and absorb it all. It becomes everything, and nothing else matters until the final word is typed. Nothing else matters…
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Published on December 01, 2013 07:53 • 506 views • Tags: rebecca-donovan, what-if, writing

October 31, 2013

In twenty minutes, everyone will remember you when you're gone.
And your heart is a stone buried underneath your pretty clothes.

Don't you know people write songs about girls like you?

What will you do when something stops you? What will you say to the world?

What will you be when it all comes crashing down on you, little girl?
What would you do if you lost your beauty? How would you deal with the light?
How would you feel if nobody chased you? What if it happened tonight?

—The Naked and Famous




There is music that makes you feel. There is music that makes you move.

This music… made me THINK ~ “I want to write about that girl.”

That girl who is too perfect. That girl who makes everyone turn their heads when she walks into a room. That girl who is exactly who she needs to be to make everyone notice her.

Until they don’t.

Girls Like You by The Naked and Famous stirred something inside of me. It tempted me to explore the other side of perfection… of expectation. Leaving me with the truth.

Except she can’t recognize her own truth because she’s so drawn into the delusion of who others need her to be. Who actually sees her?

HIM.

I needed to tell HER story through HIS eyes.

What if she’s…

Not Perfect.

Not Expected.

Not Noticed.

Who does she become?

This story has challenged me since conception. Not only because I want to write a story that has a deeper message than what’s on the surface, but because HE has to be the one to tell it.

Writing from a male perspective, and trying to make it sound authentic, is much more challenging than I ever anticipated. Because I’m in HER head… knowing why she is who she is. But that’s not helping him discover her. Unravel her. Reveal her.

So now, I must step back... and be a guy. Think, feel, perceive as a male. Let her unveil herself at the pace she needs to.

In order to connect with this story, to make it as powerful as I intend, I have to find the quiet so I can listen to his voice in my head.

I believe the glory of writing is letting something in that was never there before… allowing it to find me in its own way. This story is exposing more of itself to me every day. And each day, I am inspired to tell it.

I hope you too will be enveloped by Cal’s voice as he unveils Nyelle before your eyes. It’s a story that questions everything…

Just to think ~ it all started with a song.

What If
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Published on October 31, 2013 17:13 • 661 views • Tags: college, new-adult, rebecca-donovan, what-if, young-adult

September 26, 2013

You, as a reader and blogger, have a super power. Your love and passion of the written word is your strength. Your excitement to share it are your influence. And just like that, you have forced the publishing industry to evolve!

Look at what you've done for the Indie author. You've taken a chance on authors who opted to make themselves vulnerable, and put themselves at your mercy. Authors who chose to let YOU― not a publisher ― decide if they're worthy of being read. And you withheld judgment, not dismissing them because they don't have the publisher's emblem on their cover. You let their talent determine their success!

And when your favorite authors become published, your inquiry at the bookstores gets many of their books ordered. It was explained to me once that shelf space is like real estate in Beverly Hills. There's a finite amount of it. Only so many books can fit. To be on that shelf is a privilege and accomplishment. And do you know what gets that book in the store and keeps it on the shelf? You!

If you don't see the paperback version of a book you love in your local bookstore, ask for it . If enough of you ask, you will conquer and get what you want. You are the consumer. You drive the trends. You drive the market. Let your voice be heard!!

Your voice is the most influential super power you have! Word of mouth ― through reviews, book clubs, blogging, and sometimes your enthusiasm alone ― can propel an author to bestseller status. So please speak up! You are making all the difference in this evolving industry.

And the industry is continuing to evolve. It's not done yet! Access to new authors has exploded over the past year. More Indie authors are being recognized by publishers because you draw attention to their talent.

But... "With great power comes great responsibility." (Love Spider-Man!)

Know there is a human behind every book you read. This doesn't mean you shouldn't post an unenthusiastic review, but as you do, please consider what you would write if you had to watch that author read it.

Take pride in your power. Don't use it carelessly. Be discerning. Expect and demand excellence. Be more brilliant than the manipulative marketing. Finally, it's up to you to dictate when you've had enough of an influx in trend writing.

You are our voice to the bigger world. You are our advocates. You expose us to more readers than we could possibly do ourselves as an individual author.

I have been listening to you cheer for me personally these last few years. You were on the side of the road, clapping and cheering when I first released REASON TO BREATHE. You filled a gymnasium, hollering for me after BARELY BREATHING. And now, you've grown to fill a stadium with the release of OUT OF BREATH!! Thank you!

Your encouragement and passion are the reasons for my success. You have stayed with me. I am grateful for each and every one of you! I have said this before, and I will say it again: Keep cheering! I can still hear you! The power in your unified voices is making the world take notice!

There is still so much more to come...

Now, go. Use your super powers responsibly. You are going to change everything! (More than you already have.) Just watch!

You have the power to make all the difference.
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Published on September 26, 2013 04:56 • 348 views • Tags: new-adult-fiction, out-of-breath, reason-to-breathe, rebecca-donovan, the-breathing-series, usa-today-bestseller, young-adult-fiction

May 9, 2013

Two years ago today, I clicked on a button that changed my life.

Publish

I became an Indie Author with that single click.

I watched the world react to Emma's story. I heard every single cry of anguish. I read every single word questioning why I would end a book that way. I received every single email thanking me for exposing you to a story that made you feel .

I celebrated the positive reviews. And I cried over a few harsh ones. I typed my soul onto the screen, but wasn't prepared for the vulnerability of having others judge a piece of me. It made me question if I could truly do this, be an author.

But one of my closest friends reminded me why I needed to continue: Being a writer is who I am. I cannot make others love my work. All I can do it put everything I am into it.

I have grown as an author since I wrote Reason to Breathe nearly four years ago. My Indie version is still flawed, even after re-publishing it a half dozen times over the years. But the story is exactly what it should be. Honest. Real. The story of a girl who is trying to figure out where she fits in the world. And you welcomed Emma into your world with open arms.

Thank you!

Emma is as perfectly flawed as her Indie version. And not everyone understands or even likes her. She is written that way. I have learned a lot about who I am because of her. And I'm honored to have been the one to write her story.

In less than a year after releasing Reason to Breathe, I published Barely Breathing, and once again, you were there, waiting to continue experiencing this heart-wrenching trilogy. But this time, many more of you decided to take a chance on this Indie Author.

I haven't made it easy on you, forcing you to wait a year between each book. But when I write, I'm creating. And just like an artist blending shades together to portray the exact hue of blue, I immerse myself in this conceived world, revising my words until they have the intended impact. Elizabeth and I have been known to go back and forth for twenty minutes over a single sentence.

My words are my art.

And whatever impression they make upon you, all I care about is that they made an impression at all. And it seems that I have done just that because right after self publishing Barely Breathing last May, I was contacted and signed by my fabulous agent Erica Silverman at Trident Media Group, and then I was approached by Amazon Publishing/Skyscape.

All because I took a chance and clicked that one button.

Now, on June 4th, the newly edited version of Reason to Breathe will be re-released. (The story hasn't changed, I promise.) Followed by Barely Breathing on June 18th, and, of course, Out of Breath on July 2nd.

I cannot express how proud I am of Out of Breath. It is the perfect conclusion to this trilogy. That girl who was trying to find her place in the world must now discover all she has to do is believe in herself.

May is the last month I will be an Indie Author. The covers with the doors won't exist after this month. But my heart will always be Indie. I am too much of a free spirit to let that side of me go.

It has been my dream since I first began creating this story to see it on the bookshelves of a library and a bookstore. And now it will be. I will be in over 2,000 Wal-Mart stores all over North America in July! My heart swells just typing that!

To celebrate the release of the Amazon Published version of The Breathing Series, I have decided to reveal the last line of Out of Breath on my web site, www.rebeccadonovan.com, once the image on my author page, www.facebook.com/RebeccaDonovanAuthor, has been shared 3,000 times!

There are some of you who have witnessed the evolution of my career from the very beginning. Did you think this was possible? Did you know I would be an internationally published author in two years time? I could only believe...
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Published on May 09, 2013 14:59 • 1,502 views • Tags: amazon-publishing, barely-breathing, out-of-breath, reason-to-breathe, rebecca-donovan, the-breathing-series, trident-media-group

March 31, 2013

I will be traveling like crazy for the rest of the year. Why? To see you!! I'm trying my best to make an appearance in every region of the country. If there wasn't already a book signing organized, I made one up! I'll be roaming the country with my friends, who also happen to be talented authors. Lucky me... and you!

I'm even making Canadian and UK appearances.

I want to meet you. To see your smiling faces. To hear how much I've put you through.

Here is the current list of where I'll be for the year (and there may be more added later):

http://www.rebeccadonovan.com/Appeara...

Things to know about meeting me at a book signing:

~ I adore you. I would sit in a chair forever and sign, whatever, to meet every single one of you.

~ On occasion, I do have to slip away to use the restroom. But I am quick, so you don't have to skip my table if I'm not there. I promise, I'll be right back.

~ I plan to only bring 50 books of RtB and BB to the signings (history has shown this is a decent number), so I advise bringing your own book if you have one.

~ I will sign anything, except flesh.

~ Hugging is permitted.

~ Take a picture!!

~ Come with a question! I LOVE more than anything to actually talk to you. I know there's a line, and people are waiting. So, come prepared. I will tell you just about anything except: if Emma and Evan are getting back together; will OOB have more than one point of view; will there be a happy ending, etc. Other than that, ask away!!

~ I have a new feature where I will have pdf images of each book cover on my iPad to sign electronically, and then email it to the eBook readers who don't have a "book" to sign. Pick one cover, and be prepared with your email address. Technology is so amazing!

~ I like to dress up for the occasion. You can judge. It's okay.

~ I prefer to have a champagne glass next to me filled at all times-preferably with something pink and bubbly.

~ My handwriting becomes messier as the day progresses. (I actually don't like my handwriting to begin with, so I apologize in advance.)

~ I am as excited to see you, as you are to see me! I guarantee it!

So... will I see you?!?! Next stop is LA on April 6th!

http://youtu.be/rkf2tShQUd4
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Published on March 31, 2013 09:19 • 1,952 views • Tags: barely-breathing, book-signing, out-of-breath, reason-to-breathe, rebecca-donovan, the-breathing-series

January 31, 2013

July 2nd...

That's the day Out of Breath will be on your Kindles or in your hands!

What's even better, you can Pre-Order it now!!

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Of-Breath-B...

In the meantime, I need to finish editing it... selecting the new cover... and then edit it some more. It's so close to being perfect.

There's a lot to be done before July 2nd, but instead of drowning in the anxiety of that list, I AM SMILING! And you should be too!

I LOVE THIS STORY!!

It's coming... and I can't wait to see your faces once you've read it!!
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Published on January 31, 2013 11:58 • 3,330 views • Tags: amazon-publishing, barely-breathing, out-of-breath, reason-to-breathe, rebecca-donovan, skyscape, the-breathing-series

December 31, 2012

Did you know who I was at this time last year? Most of you will say, "No." That answer alone will tell you how much 2012 has meant to me. Because now you're a part of my world, and I am so grateful you found me!

Do you know who else I am grateful to have found me? Colleen Hoover. She sent me an email this past summer and basically said, "We should be friends." And guess what? We Are! And because of that email, I have been introduced to many more authors I adore and respect, who have now also become my friends. So, thank you, Colleen. You made my 2012 that much better!

Within two weeks of self-publishing Barely Breathing, I was contacted by Erica Silverman at Trident Media Group, and found myself an amazing agent who believes in me! I can't even begin to express how that feels. Thank you, Erica! And within a couple weeks after that, I was contacted by Tim Ditlow at Amazon Publishing informing me he was up all night reading Reason to Breathe, unable to put it down. And just like that, I have a publisher. Thank you for taking a chance on my book, Tim!!

I am the luckiest girl in the world to have the friends that I do, and the son who continues to inspire me. Being loved is the best gift in the world, and I am surrounded by a mountain of glittery packages, I can't even see over the top! Thank you to my girls, my beta team, my writing partner and all who get just as excited as I do by all that has happened for me this past year. Being able to share it with you makes it real!

And then there are All of You!! You downloaded The Breathing Series and then couldn't stop talking about it with anyone who would listen. You shared your feelings, all of them, and let me know just how invested and passionate you are about Emma's story. I could never Thank You enough! But I will try!

2012 Blew My Mind!! I am touched every time I receive an email. I do read every single one, even if I'm 500 emails behind in responding. I read every single comment on the Facebook pages, and every Tweet that flashes on my phone. I love the virtual hugs received by each blogger who reviewed the books and then put them on their "Favorites of 2012" lists! LOVE the Love!!

And if I thought 2012 was life altering... wait until you see what's in store for 2013!!! Thank you for your encouragement - I can hear you all cheering me on! Thank you for your passion - I know what those sleepless night have done to you (and your families)! Thank you for being a part of my world - it is more beautiful with you in it!!

Ready for 2013?! I AM!!!
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Published on December 31, 2012 09:47 • 3,659 views • Tags: amazon-publishing, barely-breathing, colleen-hoover, out-of-breath, reason-to-breathe, rebecca-donovan, the-breathing-series, trident-media-group