Everything You Need to Know About My New Release: Heartsick!

I did rather a bad job of keeping up with the #JanuaryWIPJoy on Twitter that Bethany Jennings so cleverly came up with.  (Smart bestie, that girl!) It’s probably because it required me to post daily, and my family and I have been so sick this month.  All four of us had colds.  One child’s turned into pink eye in both eyes, the second got an ear infection, and then I was just diagnosed with strep throat.  Blech.  A lot of staying at home, which is probably good because we’re about to move 25 minutes north to the first house my husband and I have bought!  Moving time next month will be busy, so let’s get all the illness out of the way now!

Heartsick comes out next month.  🙂  Two of my editors got back to me.  Thank you, Bethany and Catrin Lewis!

Therefore, I think I’ll just do all of February’s next list right here on my blog.  I hope this 2D(1)gives you a lot of fun details about Heartsick, and sparks your interest.  The book releases February 26th, and is already available for pre-order here.  🙂

My Books:

Can be found here on Amazon.com.  Lucent Sylph is always free.  The Hotline Girl and The 12th Girl in Heaven will be re-released through Clean Reads press in the spring.  🙂

My Author Photo:

It’s a watercolor anime self-portrait.  I like to protect my privacy here on the web.  🙂


My Last 5-Star Read:

I think that would have to be Linda K. Rodante’s Amber Alert.  She has a heart for realistic, life issues like I do.  I appreciate her as a new friend!

Fun Heartsick Art:

In the beginning, I really liked this model for Blessing Spivey, my main character.

I also really thought that Jesse McCartney looked like Shale Westin from my book.  I played arounGreeneyed.jpgHeartsickd with images when I was first writing the book and made my own for-fun cover.  😛

Writing Music:

Oh yes.  I have a Youtube playlist for Heartsick.  The first song is a long guitar piece that I imagine Shale playing.  😀  The first songs on the list are bubbly and fun, as describes the beginning of my book. I warn you, though, later on, the songs get really serious. I have some Melanie Martinez on there.  She sings about really disturbing things.  However, to get into the mood of some of the stuff one of my characters went through, it really seemed to fit.  I cried more writing this book than anything else I’ve ever written.  To really take people at their darkest and bring them to the Lord is one of my passions.  I have a character – or two – that have truly gone through hell and then some.  ❤

Awesome Moment:Heartsick Quote


Challenge Overcome:

I actually put this book down for two years.  Went and wrote The Hotline Girl, The 12th Girl in Heaven, and Lucent Sylph in the meantime.  Shale just wasn’t fitting as a character.  I first had him as an STP, and people were either repulsed or defending him  Those were not the reactions I wanted.  I wanted a mysterious attraction.  In the time I took off, I rethought him entirely as a character, and brought him back as a real, true handsome-jesse-jesse-mccartney-mccartney-perfect-favim-com-197014INFP.  He makes a lot more sense now, and his character really came to life, helping me to finish the book.  *mwah*  I love you, Shale!

A Fave Review:

From three beta readers:

“You are a GENIUS” – B.J. when she got to the last couple chapters and realized what was going on. 😀

“I just finished reading Heartsick by RJ Conte and will definitely read it again!  I loved reading about the main character, Blessing Spivey.  So many of the struggles and thought processes were similar to ones of my own.  When beginning the book, I admit that I was afraid the main character would be perfect and make me wonder at my many struggles.  Instead, the honesty and realness in the book showed me I was not alone and encouraged me to continue onward in the fight for purity.  This book is open about many struggles of growing into adulthood and fighting to save oneself for marriage.  It is encouraging, and is completely focused on God’s grace and redemption.  I couldn’t stop reading it and enjoyed every second of it.  Every book I have read by RJ is incredible and this one is no different.  I highly recommend it!” – R.H.

“It was inspiring, romantic, funny, and it left me in awe several times. I couldn’t stop reading it! It captured my all my focus and attention from the very first chapter. I stayed up reading it was past midnight a lot, and then I continued thinking about what I had read while I was trying to sleep. It was so well done. I love romance books, but so many of them I never get to finish because they’re very inappropriate and have a curse word every sentence and I don’t want to read that stuff. But this one was PERFECT. It had just the right amount of romance but it was not inappropriate in any way. And it was very realistic. I felt like a part of the story throughout the whole book. I didn’t want it to end! I really loved it. It also made me yearn for the Lord a lot, and that’s a feeling I always love. I love feeling the need to just call out to Him. And having a book make me feel that is amazing. I think it was very well written and thought out and I will definitely be telling others about it. Thank you for letting me read it!” – S.T.

Killed Darlings:

Tessa.jpgNo killed darlings in this book.  Are you shocked?  This is RJ Conte!  😉  Tessa Lyme starts out dead.  Does that count?

She’s Blessing’s doppelganger, and Shale’s ex-girlfriend.  She was Hot on Campus before she took her life.  Blessing’s on a mission to figure out how to help the grieving Shale, but she gets a little in over her head…

A Favorite Book in my Genre:

Definitely Shredded by Kimberly Rae.  A tough read, but an excellent one for any Christian adult.  I adored it.  It was powerful.

Favorite of my Covers:

Hmmmm… I’ve had some fantastic covers, but I think Lucent Sylph is my favorite.  Maybe2D - Copy because I designed this one myself.  I even put the little veins in myself.  My cover artist just did font.  🙂


Wow.  I haven’t done any swag yet.  I need to get on that.  I guess I have an angel wings shirt for Angel-Lover, as well as a Lucent Sylph shirt.  🙂









Where I Write:

Here!  Although this is a pic from when it was first assembled, right after we moved in. it’s much messier than this now with stuff filling all of the cubby holes.  😀


Where I Relax:

See above.  😛

Fave Chapter Ending:

My favorite one would be a spoiler, so I’ll go with choice #2

Blessing closed her eyes, taking a deep, shaky breath. She swallowed, trying to shake off the happiness that choked out her anger. Muscling some negative emotion back in, she forced out a challenge. “Then what if I sit somewhere else? Is there a give and take in this friendship? If I’m worth more, will you follow me once in a while?” She looked up at him.

            “You have a small foot, did you know that?” he replied, completely ignoring her question. He scooted his chair back a little and craned his neck to look down under the table where he had captured her.

            Her blood was pounding in her ears. “Well?” she asked, not wanting to be deterred.

            Shale finally looked up again, voice low and firm. “No. I’ll sit where I want to because I’m not being controlled by a girl again. Never again.”

My Muse:

One of my inspirations would be a spoiler, so I’m keeping that to myself.  But I can’t say I really have “a muse.”  I just love writing when I know I’ll have people who will read it instantly and give me excited feedback.  So thankful for Melanie Snitker and Bethany Jennings who did just that.

A Dedication Page:

I’m dedicating this to all of the homeschooled young woman that will read this book.  All the college-aged young people who grew up like I did, blessedly safe and protected, and who now have to navigate the world.  May God show you the remaining sin in your hearts in quick, painless, and safe ways, so that you can have your happily ever after where He will be glorified.  ❤


God bless, and enjoy Heartsick!



10 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About My New Release: Heartsick!

  1. Ok. So, I disappeared from society for a day and I read your book. I had read the first four chapters previously, but I had been really tired and it hadn’t made much sense to me, so I read them again. This time, I caught the little phrase in bold at the beginning of chapter two… yeah, made much more sense!! 😊

    I read until 3 A.M.!!! I had the little kids that I babysit yesterday but I kept picking up my Kindle to read anyway. Yes, I knew that something in my home would probably be destroyed completely if I didn’t follow their every move, catching things as they laughed maniacally and threw them to the floor, but I threw caution to the wind and picked up your book instead! Of course, I looked up every once in a while (when I remembered there were other people in the room) and made sure to note that all kids were accounted for before plunging back in.

    The Littles went home and I decided to be responsible and cook for my family, but I kept being interrupted by Blessing Spivey. I just made a simple supper, but for some reason, it took way longer than normal!! After supper, Blessing was very rude indeed, interrupting me repeatedly while I tried to get my kitchen cleaned! In other words, I was captivated! I was intrigued! I wanted to understand her, to figure this guy out, to know how their story ended, yet I didn’t want it to end!

    At midnight, I looked up at the clock and was completely shocked at the time. I had no idea it was so late! I decided I needed to put the book down and go on to sleep. At 1:30, when my husband came downstairs to head to bed, he just looked at me reading and chuckled, and then left me alone to read. I again decided that I had to put the book down and go on to bed. I would just get to the end of the chapter, and then I would MAKE myself put it down. A few minutes after 3 a.m., I read the last words.

    I LOVED the book in every way!! There is a very good, interesting plot line that keeps the reader in suspense until the end. I thought at first that the plot was going to be too predictable and that Blessing would be too easy to figure out, but there were surprises in both the plot and the depth of Blessing’s character. I was disappointed in some of Blessing’s choices, but aren’t we all disappointed in some of our own choices? That is where God’s grace and mercy come in. If we think we can make it on our own good behavior, well, that behavior sometimes throws us for a loop as well, and we realize it is by grace we are saved. We can’t earn that salvation, and even after we are saved we do not always do the things we want to do. Our flesh is not redeemed yet. We NEED Him every day, in every way!!


    • Thank you for posting this, Rachel!!! I totally should’ve added your review to the actual post. 😀
      I’m so glad you liked it and are cheering me in!

      (Fixing that beginning in edits, btw. 😉 )


      • Since you sent it to me in a private email, unlike the girls who read it and explicitly said, “I’m going to use this as my public review” I didn’t know I had the permission! 😀


  2. You are so darling . I really enjoyed reading this… Hearing a little of the behind the scenes.. Seeing your office and such, as well! ❤ you're amazing!!!!!!


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