Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review, Interview, and Giveaway: Rain by Christie Cote

Welcome to our stop on the Rain blog tour!  We are so thrilled to be a part of this tour because this is the debut novel of an author who is extra special to us here at A Belle's Tales.  Christie is a blogger-turned-author who was one of the first friends we made in this awesome blogosphere.  She's always encouraged both Mckenzie and myself, having us both guest review on her blog, and is responsible for many of the banners and images we have here.  She's so talented, and we could not be any prouder of her and her first novel. Below you'll find Mckenzie's review of Rain, her dream cast for Rain, an interview, and an amazing giveaway courtesy of the author.

Rain is the heartwarming story of Taylor Sullivan as she fights the most difficult battle she's ever faced and about the people she meets along the way.  This is a perfect book for all ages, but I especially want to mention how age-appropriate it is for younger teens. That's something very important to me as a mom; and I love that, in an age where a lot of YA books push the boundaries on teen-appropriate content, Rain is a book that any parent would be happy to have on their teenager's shelf.  A huge thank-you to Christie for stopping by today -- we hope you enjoy our stop on the tour, and be sure to enter this great giveaway!

Title: Rain
Author: Christie Cote
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Release Date: May 6, 2014

 Amazon  |  B&N  | Bullmoose | BAM

Book Blurb: 

Taylor Sullivan took her life for granted until she received news that would change her life forever. In a state of denial she met Kyle, who didn’t end up being what she expected. She wasn’t able to escape her new reality, but with his friendship, just maybe she could survive it.


Taylor Sullivan is a normal soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old girl with a normal family and normal life -- well, except for one thing. She just found out she has cancer. Taylor's world is turned upside down with the news, and she wonders if her life will ever be the way it was before. 

"I knew I couldn't hide from this. 
It was in my body, not a monster in the closet. 
No matter where I was or how long I kept my eyes shut, 
it would still be there..." 

When she returns to school the next day, Taylor's not quite ready to tell her best friend or boyfriend about her leukemia yet, so she ditches and heads home. Sitting across the street from her house, she meets a stranger named Kyle, whom she uncharacteristically tells all her problems to, thinking she'll never see him again. Taylor feels better once she gets everything off her chest. But there's one problem: Kyle just moved in right across the street from Taylor. 

"Then I realized what he'd meant. 
I'd told my problems to a stranger I would probably see again." 

Shortly after their encounter, Taylor and Kyle strike up an unexpected friendship. It helps take Taylor's main focus off her upcoming chemotherapy, though it still lingers in the back of her mind. The day eventually comes; and it's not as bad as Taylor thought it would be, but it's not exactly a walk in the park, either. Visits from Liz and Kyle help ease the stress of being cooped up in a hospital for so long; but Taylor still feels like things just keep falling apart all around her -- especially when she finds out her boyfriend is seeing another girl. Can Kyle help her stay positive through this difficult journey, and is Taylor strong enough to overcome it?

"Sometimes within the darkness I found dreams where I wasn't sick,
 I had my hair, and Kyle didn't just want to be my friend." 

There were so many things I loved about this book. It had a steady pace and was fast enough to keep me interested but not too fast. I adored these characters, too -- except for Austin and a particular character at the end, that is. 

Another thing about Rain is that, aside from it being an amazing book, it had a beautiful story. There was a particularly poignant scene in the hospital that made me break down in sobs. Some books have a great concept but a not-so-great delivery. I'm happy to say that was definitely not the case with Rain

I don't want to spoil what happens, so I won't give any more details. But I will mention that one of my favorite aspects of the book was the links and information the author included at the end. I feel they'll really help bring awareness to childhood cancer. 

This was such an incredible book that I will definitely be re-reading in the future! 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Mckenzie's dream casting for the characters of Rain:


 1.       I'd love to talk about your inspiration behind writing Rain. You've told me the story and reasoning behind writing about a character with cancer, but would you mind sharing that story with the readers of this blog? 

It all started with a writing assignment for my fiction writing class in college. I wanted to work on Blood Red Sky; but the teacher preferred realistic fiction, so I started a new story. I decided I wanted to write a story about a girl who got diagnosed with cancer since I’ve been interested in cancer, especially children with cancer, for a long time.  Once I knew that, I sat down and let the character come to mind and I saw Taylor and a strong image of Rain; and as people say, the rest was history. 

2.       How old were you when you first started writing, and what made you want to become a writer? 

I believe I was around fifteen to sixteen when I first started to get really interested in writing. First, I became obsessed with Lurlene McDaniel. I loved how she pulled the reader in and told the characters’ stories. After reading countless books by her and also researching the subjects she wrote about to learn more, I wanted to create my own stories. Once I started writing, I just fell in love with creating my own stories and have been doing it ever since. 

3.       Although I'm sure your time in nursing school contributed to some of the information, how much research went into Rain

I didn’t have to do much research, honestly. A few things here and there; but I have been very interested in cancer since I was around sixteen, so most of the information was just in my head. Some of the nursing classes helped, too, because I did more research on some different aspects and also learned more about the medical field. 

4.       I absolutely adored Taylor, Liz, and Kyle. They're hands-down some of my all-time favorite characters. Did anyone you know inspire any of the characters in Rain

Awww, I love hearing you say that! There are some characters in Rain that were inspired by people that I know, but not for Taylor, Liz, or Kyle – consciously, anyways. There are little things, like conversation pieces that were inspired from interactions with people in my life; but that was about it. 

5.       There's a particular scene in the beginning of Rain that hints at the title; was that a scene you had in mind before writing, or did you take the title from that scene after it was done? 

I did not have a title when I started writing. I just envisioned the scene and wrote it. It was for a class assignment so I had to have a title, and "Rain" was the only thing I could come up with.  The feeling of rain was so strong that it ended up being the best title for the book. 

6.       Did you know where the story was going from the beginning, or did it take several twists and turns along the way? 

I had little ideas, but mostly I just went where the story and characters took me.  I also didn’t have a clue how the story was going to end until I got there. 

7.       Who do you look up to as a writer? 

Oh, wow. There are several authors that have inspired me in different ways. My biggest inspiration is Lurlene McDaniel, followed by Colleen Hoover and John Connolly.  They are all amazing authors. 

8.       It must be a truly amazing feeling to finally have your book out in the world! But even though you've finished Rain, there probably still isn't any time to rest since Taylor has more story to tell ;) Do you think you could maybe give us a little sneak peek into the next installment and what's to come for these amazing characters? 

It is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced. I really feel like I accomplished something, even though it was super scary to put myself out into the world like this. 

Gosh, I haven’t had time to rest since I published the book. Not only am I wrangling all of the author and book stuff, but I started some college courses as well. I really can’t wait to get back to writing Taylor and Kyle’s stories! They have so much more to go through and share with the world. 

The next book will be Before the Rain, which will be Kyle’s story. Kyle was still very much a stranger when Rain ended; and in Before the Rain, readers will get to be inside his head and learn all of his dirty secrets. I only have one small scene written right now, and it’s not something I can share yet; but I will hopefully be working on it next month for Camp National Novel Writing Month (JULY).  I can share the synopsis though:

Kyle Thorne was a stranger, harboring secrets every waking moment, haunted by them every time his guard was down. He moved in with his dad in the hope of escaping his dark past. That proved to be difficult when a piece of that past showed up at his front door, jeopardizing his new beginning and his relationship with Taylor—the one person who made him want to expose all of his secrets. 

The third book in the series is titled Through the Rain, and it will be in both Taylor’s and Kyle’s points of views. Unless I change my mind, this will be the final book in the series. Who knows, though – I never know what will happen when I’m writing and they pull me in a direction I didn’t see coming! 

Synopsis for Through the Rain

In the final installment of the Rain series, Kyle can’t avoid his past any longer, and while he faces his demons, Taylor ends up with her own secret. Choices are made, and time is lost. Neither knows what the other is fighting. Will they let go of their secrets before it is too late, or will time run out for Kyle and Taylor? 

Thank you so much, Christie, for stopping by the blog today and for this amazing story that I'll always cherish. This has been so much fun! 

No, THANK YOU! I’m so happy to be on the blog today, also. Thank you for the fun interview. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author: 
Christie Cote resides in Vermont with her Husband and their dog. When she isn’t reading, writing, or dreaming up her next story, she can be found shooting targets with her bow, drawing or baking.
Rain is her first book.

Christie writes Young Adult Realistic Fiction, Fiction, and New Adult novels.

Find Christie:


  1. Great review and interview! I'd not heard of this, so thanks for putting it on my radar. I'm always interested in checking out authors who love the same authors that I do, and Colleen Hoover--LOVE her. And having real life experience with the topic always makes a book feel more realistic. Definitely keeping an eye on this one ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  2. Wonderful review McKenzie. I am so glad you enjoyed Rain. I really enjoyed the underlying story here and Kyle was great!

  3. Wow! I had no idea that Christie had a book out. That is amazing. Way to go Christie! Lovely review, McKenzie. You have grown leaps and bounds with your reviews. I don't often read cancer books because they make me cry, but this is one I will check out!

    1. Heidi,
      I did! I did! haha :) I would be happy to give you an e-book copy in exchange for a review if you are interested. Thanks for the excitement and support!

  4. Wonderful interview, this sounds wonderful, and heartbreaking and wow, just lovely! I am so glad you adored the characters McKenzie!

  5. Oh My Goodness! *tears* McKenzie your review is beautiful and amazing. I love the quotes you picked. You both have amazing quote picking talents! I love the casting for Rain also! It is so pretty. Michele I'm so glad you found it age appropriate for young readers and McKenzie. There were a couple parts that I was unsure of. The interview was a lot of fun also! McKenzie, you ask fantastic questions. I'm coming to you next time I need to come up with interview questions ;) Thank you so much for being a part of the blog tour and for this lovely post! You both rock!!!

  6. I love when a book can just break you down! This is such a wonderful review and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! :D

    Lovely, lovely review!

  7. When I saw your dream cast and the name Kenzi, I thought were casting yourself at first. lol. I haven't read a book that deals with this subject, but I can imagine how emotional it is. Great review and interview!


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