Something Old, Something New (hint: it’s a book!)

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“Sometimes the best part about starting your own thing is getting to change stuff whenever you feel like it (this is going to be a recurring theme for 2015…you just wait)..”

– You might recognize this from a post I published on the blog (or you might not…it’s cool, we all have lives). And now I finally get to share with the class what it was that I was talking about.

You may have heard of a lil’ novel I published back in 2010 called Holiday Chick (or not. Again, we all have lives!). It was a book I started writing just for me, a book I kept searching for on bookstore shelves but wasn’t finding. I wrote it the way you should write anything, really: So that I loved it so much that it didn’t really matter if anyone else loved it. But then it became this massive dream come true, because: Other people loved it. They really loved it.

But: Someday I will write a “10 Things NOT To Do When Writing + Publishing Your Own Book” and it will help millions around the world and I will then benefit from my own mistakes!, but for now, just know that being an early adopter of the self-publishing world + impatience to get it done and out there + other maddening and embarrassing flubs beyond my control made it not such a perfect book in the editorial sense.

SO: In the fall of 2013, when I decided I wanted to create a hardcover edition of the book – a dust-jacket, hardcover, what’s-up-fuckers legit edition, I realized that this was my chance to finally make the book the perfect everything I knew it could be.

So I did.

After spending the past couple years working it wit’ a profesh team + pulling some major all-nighters getting this chubby lil’ baby ready to be out into the world, it’s done, it’s ready, and it’s all been worth it. Because here’s what I learned with Holiday Chickif you’re going to put work into something, go all the fucking way. Don’t rush the process. Make it your legacy, your monument.

And this book, kids? Is so my monument. 


Just shut up and take my money – I’m ready to BUY IT NOW


Today I want to introduce you to The Middle of Nowhere

If you’ve already read and loved Holiday Chick, then think of The Middle of Nowhere as that nerd kid who went away for the summer and returned fully matured + super, super hot. It’s still the same lovable, adorable kid you know…only cleaner, tighter, and easier to show off to all your friends.

Basically: Everything you loved about Holiday Chick is still there.

But now, it’s even better, and there’s more to love about it. You’ll find new things in the story that will delight you. The parts you skimmed over will be snappier. Your favorite scenes will feel even dreamier.

Cool, You Had Me at “Hardcover”: BUY IT NOW


For those of you who haven’t read Holiday Chick: Allow me to do a thing where I’m not really bragging about my own kid but I did spend years creating it and it’s somehow developed it’s own magic beyond any of my doing so just let me have my moment here:

It’s one of the fastest-moving 300+ page books you’ve ever read. It’s deep and gritty and funny and dreamy and dark and sexy and sad and exciting and tragic and triumphant all at the same time.

You’ll love + love hate the characters. You’ll love a character despite yourself. You’ll love a character but then see that they’re not perfect and you’ll kind of hate them and then love them again because they need you to. You’ll hate a character and then come to maybe like them, or at least understand them a little, in the end. You’ll love a character at first but then discover that you really hate them. You’ll surprise yourself by how much you’ve fallen in love with a character and will just want a whole book of just them, only them, because goddamn it you are in love with them. 

You’ll have options, is my point.

It might start out in a way and about some stuff that you maybe wouldn’t ordinarily choose to read about, and if it were another book you might put it down and start something else instead, but it goes so fast and you feel like there’s something coming up that you don’t want to miss, and you’ll be rewarded by being right. At a point close to the middle of the book, you’ll be a goner. And it’ll only pull you further and further in from there. At the end of it, you’ll put it down and try to figure out what all this was three days ago that now looks so different. You won’t want to leave it. It will feel a little like that scene in Labyrinth, where all the characters are looking out at you and you already miss them so much that you just want to climb back in and have adventures with them again. The story will end up lingering in your head for at least a few days afterward, and you’ll find yourself chewing it over, thinking about the characters as if they were real people that had that stuff actually happen to them. You’ll probably read it again.

Again, just SHUT UP & TAKE MY MONEY already – lemme BUY IT NOW


You will not want your middle-school-aged children to read this book. This is a book for grown-ass people. Maybe a very mature 17-18-year-old can read it, but. It’s really for you.

You’ll find out why.

This book will make you want to jump back to being 21 where everything is new and exciting and there’s still so much to be discovered, yet you’ll also feel so grateful that you are an adult who has everything figured out.

Don’t you?

It will make you cry. Don’t try to fight it. It’s supposed to, and it will.

It will make you laugh. Maybe not belly-laugh, or LOL, but at least guffaw, maybe chuckle. You’ll most definitely do that “heh…” thing you do when you’re smugly satisfied with something someone else has said or done.

It will make you blush + instinctively pull the book closer to you + maybe slide under the covers a little when you get to that one part.

(Okay, maybe that other part, too)

(You know what? You’re right. THREE parts. Three parts will make you want to do that)

It will make your eyes race across the page. I won’t tell you when or how many times, because that would ruin it, but it is specifically designed to be a page-turner (but not in that I can’t freaking take the anxiety + tension! thriller way. More in the “OMG what happens next?!” way). According to about 90% of people* who’ve already read it, you won’t want to put it down. You’ll want to devour it, and you’ll get that “But WHY IS MY LIFE THIS WAY” kind of angry when you have to finally force yourself to put it away so you can get some sleep.

Anyway. It’s a great book, I’m really proud of it, and I’m pretty sure that, unless you are an entirely lame person with some serious hang-ups, you’ll dig it.


The hardcover edition of The Middle of Nowhere is slated to be released August 25th. If you’re like me and you love instant gratification and hate waiting for things, here’s a thing you’ll like: Everyone who pre-orders a hardcover copy will receive an exclusive PDF digital copy that you can read now, today, on your laptop (or other devices if you’re fancy and know how to do stuff) and before anyone else gets their hands on the actual book.

And since I’m totally aware that I’m essentially telling Holiday Chick fans to buy the same-but-also-better book: If you post a photo of yourself with your copy of Holiday Chick** on social media (use the hashtag #MoNPresale on Twitter and Instagram, and/or post it to my Facebook page), I’ll send you a special discount code – just for you, special!for an even sweeter deal on the pre-order price. 

(Also, Lifetime Presale List People – you know who you are, so get at me, because I have a special discount code just for you, too)

Ready for the OMG-this-is-really-real-and-legit part that has me Jessie Spano’ing all over the place? Here we go!

The Middle of Nowhere


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At barely twenty-one, Aden Callen has faced down more plot twists in her life than a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.

Estranged from her parents, teenage tragedy spit the quiet but fiercely independent Aden out into the anti-rebellion of life as a bible camp counselor. It’s a life she (finally) loves…even if she had to give up her family to get it. But when bad news from home invades that idyllic existence, the revelations it carries forces the prodigal daughter to leave God and return to a family she no longer knows. 

Joining her parents in their new sleepy hometown of Holden, Aden has only two goals: Make her amends, then put the lonely north in the rearview. So when she takes a job working the night shift at the local 24-hour Holiday, she’s not there to make friends (and she’s definitely not there to stay). But in the fishbowl of the gas station’s glass walls, Aden’s careful anonymity vanishes as she becomes the sole object of attention for Holden’s young, restless, and bored. Because after all: Holden doesn’t give you much.

So when it gives them a new girl like Aden?
It changes things.
For everyone.
And in ways none of them could ever have imagined. 

A visceral tale of love, loss, and finding yourself where you least expect to, Amber L. Carter’s whirlwind debut novel invites you to The Middle of Nowhere…and doesn’t let you leave.

Pre-order now! 


Pre-order purchase includes signed (with a personal – personal! SPECIAL! – dedication) copy of The Middle of Nowhere + exclusive PDF digital copy that you can read now, today, on your laptop (or other devices if you’re fancy and know how to do stuff) before anyone else gets their hands on the actual print copy.

Wanna stay in the loop on all future book news + events? Fill out the form below to get on the email list. I promise I won’t send you a bunch of stuff all the time – just the real, real important kind!

* casual estimate
** you can also pose with your digital copy of Holiday Chick

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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