What do you do when the source of all your problems is the one thing you don’t know how to fix?
With Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell nothing more than an unpleasant memory, US Army surgeon Sabine Fleischer is ready to move on with her life—if she can just figure out how to move past her PTSD. Fresh from her first deployment since surviving a vehicle attack in Afghanistan, Sabine is finding the things she’s tried so hard to push aside aren’t as easy to ignore as she’d hoped.
Sabine’s girlfriend and ex-commanding officer Rebecca Keane is happily settled into her new job running a trauma department in a civilian hospital. Life with Sabine is everything Rebecca ever wanted. But when Sabine’s PTSD reappears worse than before, she’s left struggling with her own guilt.
There’s no doubt that both Sabine and Rebecca want the same thing. But how do you help the most important person in your life when they don’t want to need your help?
Ask Me Again is the must-read sequel to the best-selling Ask, Tell.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"I never intended to publish this book, or honestly, even let anyone read it if I managed to finish it. Why write a book for nobody? Because sometimes, you just gotta write. Truthfully, the only reason I started writing this one was because I missed my characters so much, and in the way of a lovesick author – I could not let them go. A few weeks after I finished what I thought was the final draft of my debut, Ask, Tell (ha-ha, it was anything but the final draft) and left it to age like wine or whatever, I began the sequel. I wrote obsessively, like a teen in a dark bedroom hunched over a notepad scribbling about their first crush.
Sabine & Rebecca
TRU LUV 4 EVA
-Carefully trace a heart around it-
-Fill page with x’s & o’s and combinations of hyphenated surnames-
But, E. J.! You said you weren’t going to publish it and here I am reading a little post about this book because it’s about to be published! What gives? Okay yep, you’re right, guilty as charged. Why did I cave? Because people asked if there was a sequel and I’m really bad at moderating what comes out of my mouth (or fingertips) and I said, “Yes there is! But it’s a bit weird and kind of sad because of PTSD and stuff so it’s hiding in a folder on my computer.”
Talking to people about the sequel made me think that maybe I could or should turn the mess into something readable, because maybe people wanted to know what happens next. I could change some plot stuff, adjust the setting...make it less sad? Yes! But still not not sad because a major part of this novel is a mental health issue and how that affects not only the person with PTSD but those who love them. Anyhoo, I won’t bore you with the intimate details of my “Writer’s Journey” for this one, but I will bore you with a couple of facts.
Fact one – When I put my writing pants on, I’m a first person junkie, so all of my work to this point has been a single point of view. But Ask Me Again practically begged to have both women tell their side of the story. I agreed.
Which leads to…
Fact two – I’m an inhabitive writer (is that even a term or real word?). What I mean is that when I’m writing I’m firmly in the mind of the character, experiencing what they are. My wife says I make faces when I write, which I realised was me writing dialogue and basically having a back and forth conversation with myself…bit weird in public. Writing a novel where I’m—oh, this sounds creepy—living as both characters was pretty awesome.
Which leads to… (Seeing a theme here?)
Fact three – I’m a frenetic, random writer. I don’t plan anything. I don’t write anything in order, but instead write random scenes as they come to me and then slowly join them up. Most of the time this is great, except for when I write myself into a corner and get attached to things that totally don’t work. When else is it also not so great? When you have ideas for one character, and then midway through that, your brain flips to another character. Still, writing this dual point of view was awesome, if not incredibly challenging. And of course, now I’ve mastered dual point of view, it’s time to master writing in third person. Ha! Kidding. Let’s not get crazy.
So...can you read Ask Me Again without reading Ask, Tell? Of course you can! You can do anything you want! But I don’t think you should. I don’t just say that as a lovesick author who wants everyone to know everything about her characters. I say that as a person who loves reading, and who personally loves to know as much as possible about a character’s journey. And although in the beginning this particular journey was written for me only, I’m so very pleased that it changed course and now I’ll be sharing it with you.
—E. J. Noyes
The Lesbian Review
Not every story needs a sequel. Ask, Tell demanded it, and Noyes delivers in spectacular fashion. Sabine and Rebecca show us their fortitude and their strength in their love for each other…Thank you, Noyes, for giving us a great story, a great series, and amazing women that teach us the best things in life are worth fighting for.
There really is only one way to tell this story, and Noyes executes it perfectly. She gives us events from the first person perspective. However, she alternates each chapter between Sabine’s point of view and Rebecca’s point of view. You’re able to get the full perspective of their inner feelings and turmoil they hide from one another. In addition, you’re able to get the complete picture of the unconditional love Sabine and Rebecca have for each other. It’s this little light of love that propels the reader to keep going and hope these women will finally reach the end of the darkness.
Lex’s Reviews - This book is really different than any other book Noyes has written. I would almost put this under drama-romance. This book is raw and heartbreaking at times, but it’s also about true love. I thought it was wonderfully written. I have read a few books that I thought tackled the subject of PTSD well, but I think this book seemed the most honest and realistic I have read. Even more than a romance this is a story about love. You believe this is real love you are reading about. And it’s not always an easy read. This book is a little tough at times and if you are like me, you might want to keep the tissues ready. But the love is there and it gives you hope.
Bethany’s Reviews - This book is not light and fluffy—it's chock full of raw, gritty and honest emotion, topped with a heap of pure, real love. Personally, I felt that it was refreshing to see characters who were so real, not idealized or over the top glamorous or beautiful, but real and honest characters dealing with real and honest struggles. I think the one thing I loved the most in this one is the overall message of love laced throughout the entire story. Even when situations were emotional and it was rough to be inside Sabine's head, you could still feel the surrounding love that Rebecca had for her. During the darkest moments, this one is still full of hope and healing. This is probably the most raw and realistic novel about PTSD that I've ever read, and I feel like I came out of the other side with a better understanding and ability to be more empathetic.
Pin’s Reviews - Ask Me Again is an excellent book, but not a light read. It deals with unpleasant events, with a protagonist fighting intrusive thoughts, severe anxiety, pain and hurt that is inside and tries to controls her—but it is essentially positive and motivating, and that is another thing for me to appreciate. I strongly suggest reading Ask, Tell prior to this sequel because some important nuances may be lost on you otherwise. E.J. Noyes has become one of my trusted authors, and I cannot wait to read her next book Alone, which is slated for May next year.