COVER REVEAL: Black Box Cover Reveal, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Black Box

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Cover reveal day for Black Box!!!! I am so excited. This story is dark, but it’s a story that I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. Mental illness and suicide awareness are issues that are very dear to me. I can’t tell you how excited I am to share Mikki and Crush’s story with you all.

And…. I think this may be my favorite book cover EVER! And I have the talented Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations to thank for it. Sarah and I went back and forth a bit on this one because I wanted this cover to be perfect. When she sent me this version, I knew this was it. It conveys everything I wanted the cover to convey and more. Please make sure you stop by Sarah’s Facebook page and click the LIKE button and show her some love.

Make sure you scroll down after reading the synopsis to read the full chapter one and two excerpt and to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

BLOG GIVEAWAY: Comment below letting me know what song you like to listen to when you’re feeling down that instantly cheers you up. I will choose one random winner from the comments to receive a digital ARC of Black Box. AND any one of your songs just might make it onto the Black Box playlist! **GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

Black Box

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A standalone novel about a girl, a boy, and fate.

From New York Times best selling author Cassia Leo, comes an epic love story about rewriting destiny.

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on two separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki’s life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she’s tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he’s never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he’s never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn’t even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he’s never felt like his life had any purpose… until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.






The moment you realize you’re going to die is nothing like I imagined it would be. I imagined a deep internal struggle coupled with a visceral physical response—fight or flight. But there’s no fighting this. I’m going to die.

It’s possible that everyone on this plane is going to die. I wonder if they feel this overwhelming sense of peace, or if the squeal of the plane engine has drowned out all their thoughts.

He grabs the oxygen mask as it drops from the compartment and he’s yelling something as he puts the elastic band over my head. He pulls his own mask over his head then he grabs my hand and looks me in the eye. There’s no panic in his eyes. Maybe he feels this same calm I’m feeling. Or maybe he just wants me to know that he loves me. Or, more importantly, that he trusts that whatever happens to us in the next few seconds was meant to be.


I used to think fate was for religious nuts and people who were too afraid to take their fate into their own hands. Now I know the truth.




Please don’t look for me. You probably won’t find me. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, and please don’t blame yourselves. I’m just tired. Trying to cope…. trying to forget…. It’s not enough anymore. I just want to close my eyes and know that it will all be over soon. There’s nothing anyone could have done. You’ve all done more than enough. I hope you all find peace knowing I am no longer suffering. I love you guys. Tell Meaghan I leave her my black box.




I tuck the note inside a plastic baggie and seal it tightly, then I lift my bedroom window an inch and lay the bagged note on the window sill. I shut the window tight to trap the note there.

Taking one last look around the bedroom, I smile as I think of how much I won’t miss this house. The pink tulip-shaped knit cap my best friend Rina bought for me in Holland sits on top of my dresser. I’ve only worn it once, the day she brought it back for me from her family vacation last summer. I was in High Point Treatment Center at the time, in the dual diagnosis unit because I’m one of the special cases that needed both treatment for attempted suicide and drug detox.

“You look awfully cheerful for someone who’s traveling alone.” Meaghan’s green eyes follow my suitcase as I drag it down the stairs, then her gaze shifts to my face. My sister is seventeen, but she’s not stupid. She knows the signs, which is why I’m trying my hardest not to exhibit the typical suicidal behavior.

I didn’t give away all my belongings. I’m not traveling light. I have tried not to appear too chipper over the last couple of days. Yes, it feels amazing to have a plan. It feels like a ten-ton slab of cement has been lifted off my chest. I can breathe. I can think about the future without the crippling anxiety and depression that comes with not knowing if the pain will ever end.

But I can’t let Meaghan or my parents see how ridiculously relieved I’m feeling. They’ve seen that behavior too many times. The last time I made plans to die, three months ago, my mom saw the signs and followed me to the hotel room where I was going to hang myself. The time before that, I swallowed a bottle of pills in my uncle’s bathroom. It was my cousin Gertie who noticed I was acting too happy. She told my Uncle Cort, “Mikki is smiling again.” Uncle Cort broke the door down and that’s when I ended up in High Point. That’s also when I swore I wouldn’t commit suicide anywhere that someone could find me.

“Cheerful?” I repeat Meaghan’s adjective as I pull up the telescoping handle on the suitcase and roll it across the tiled foyer toward the front door. “More like nervous as fuck. I’ve never flown without Mom.”

Meaghan yanks her green parka out of the coat closet and pulls it on over her hoodie. “I’ll take that,” she says as she pulls the hood of the parka over her long, brown hair and grabs my carryon bag.

I open the door and we both suck in a sharp breath when we’re blasted with a flurry of freezing winter air. The snow sticks to my face and I quickly close the front door so it doesn’t get in the house.

“Jesus fucking Christ. It’s colder than a witch’s tit out here. They’re going to cancel the flights if this shit keeps up,” Meaghan says as we carefully descend the front steps. My dad covered the steps in his special mixture of salt and sand, but it’s not foolproof.

“If they cancel the flights, I’ll come back, but they’ll have to reschedule the flight. I can’t just not show up. I saved up three months paychecks for this fucking ticket.”

Meaghan opens the wooden front gate and the cabbie scurries out of the car to help us with the bags. As he stuffs the bags in the trunk, I turn to Meaghan and she’s crying. Something tells me she knows, but she would stop me if she knew—wouldn’t she?

“Why are you crying? It’s just a job interview. I’m coming back in four days.”

“I know,” she whispers before she wraps her arms around my waist. “But I’ll miss you. Bring me back a hot actor.”

“I will.”

We hug like this for far longer than normal. It takes every bit of self-control in me not to tell her that everything will finally be okay when I’m gone.

She finally pulls away and punches my arm. “Get the hell out of here.”

“I love you, too,” I say as I slide into the backseat of the cab and my heart stutters as I look at the house I grew up in for the last time.

The driver slams my door shut and gets into the driver’s seat. “Logan?” he asks as he turns up the heater.

“Yeah, Terminal B,” I reply as I watch Meaghan scurry into the house to escape the cold.

I reach into my handbag and pull out my gloves, then I see the bottle of pills. I lay the black gloves on my lap and reach into my purse for the bottle. On the outside, this is just a normal bottle of anti-psychotic meds. On the inside, this is my self-prescribed emergency meth stash. Each capsule is carefully filled with one dose.

I quit meth last week. Something about booking a plane ticket to Los Angeles to end my life gave me the fortitude to face the world without drugs. Besides, I was never really addicted. I just didn’t want to quit because it made me feel as if I was in control. But, even though I’m technically no longer a meth-head, I brought my emergency stash in case I lose my nerve.

I’m going to Los Angeles, specifically to the Pacific Ocean, to swim out into the open ocean until I can’t swim anymore. The water is so cold this time of year, my body will be numb and exhausted by the time I reach the point of no return. I won’t be able to fight it when the water enters my lungs. Plus, I’ll be so far out in the ocean, the odds of my body being found will be slim. My parents won’t have to identify me.

The cabbie turns the volume up on the radio and Take You Higher is playing. The dance beat buoys my mood and I allow myself to smile for the first time in days. I set the bottle of pills back inside my purse and pull my gloves on as I sit back.

Fifty minutes later, the cab pulls up in front of Terminal B and one of the two guys working at curbside check-in rushes over to help me with my suitcase once the cab driver places it on the curb. I pay the driver and he mutters a quick thank you before he hurries back inside the warm cab.

“Holy shit,” I whisper as I pull my faux fur-lined hood over my head.

“I ain’t seen it like this in years. I bet they already cancelling flights,” the guy says as he takes my carryon bag and we race toward the automatic sliding doors. He leaves me and my bags just inside the doors then he jogs back to his station outside in the freezing cold. What a terrible day to have that job.

I push my hood back and the line at the check-in counter snakes across the floor as everyone watches the TV monitors above the counter.

“Cancelled,” a voice says behind me.

I whip my head around and find a guy with dark eyes and messy brown hair sticking out the front of his knit cap. He’s sitting on a gray suitcase with his phone in his hand and a guitar case propped up against the wall behind him. Something about him looks familiar, though I’m pretty certain he’s the kind of guy I would not forget if we’d met before.

“You can probably still catch a cab if you leave now,” he continues as he types on his phone.

“Then why aren’t you running outside to catch a cab?”

“I’m in no hurry to go back.”

I stare at the curb outside just as another cab pulls up to drop off some unknowing passenger. I told Meaghan I’d go home if they cancelled the flight, but that’s the last place I want to go right now.

“Yeah, me neither.”

The guy looks up from his phone and smiles. “Yeah, you also have to check in to get your flight rescheduled.”

“Yeah, that too.” I try not to blush. Something about his smile makes me feel naked.



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About the Author : Cassia Leo, Author

Cassia Leo is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books. She loves coffee, rain, and a good read. Comment below or email her at [email protected]


  1. Lori S November 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Iris by Goo Goo dolls

  2. cara nicole November 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

    • Michele Dewell November 12, 2013 at 4:45 am - Reply

      Crazy I know, but I love the song Madness because of the music. It just gets me going. Thank u for the giveaway.

  3. Rachelle November 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Hey Ho from The Lumineers my granddaughter and I sing it loudly it always makes me think of her 🙂 Thanks for the awesome giveaway 🙂 Can’t wait to read Black Box

  4. Tabitha Wilson November 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    It used to be OMG by Usher but lately I’ve been stuck on Applause by Lady Gaga!

  5. Andrea Cordova November 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Don’t Stop Believin’ By journey

  6. Retta November 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I either listen to Try by Pink or Carry On by F.U.N.

  7. Heather H November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    I will survive- Gloria Gaynor

  8. Pam November 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Wake Me Up by Avicii

  9. lissab99 November 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Just Like Heaven by The Cure. <3 Also, is it weird that The Smiths makes me happy too? LOL

  10. Krystall November 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Be Yourself by Audioslave

  11. Beverly Thompson November 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    Sound of Madness by Shinedown

  12. Samantha LeRaye November 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    White Rabbit – Egypt Central 🙂

  13. Shavana (BeanieBrain) Merrick November 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    My song would have to be Silent Night, whenever I come across a version that I don’t have usually buy it right then needless to say I have tons of just that one song even has it’s own playlist that takes hours to go through all of them.

  14. Marie R November 12, 2013 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Until recently I would have said Footloose by Kenny Loggins ……….. but now I have to say Aw Naw by Chris Young.

    • Karen Hrdlicka November 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Love Aw Nah, always makes me smile

  15. Cathy November 12, 2013 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Beautiful – Christina Aguilera..has been my song ever since my daughter was born..always picks me up ♡♡

  16. Stephanie November 12, 2013 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Serenity by godsmack

  17. Esther Li November 12, 2013 at 2:25 am - Reply

    I don’t have a song i listen too. I bake to cheer me up or read sometimes

  18. lscarchuk November 12, 2013 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Copacabana by Barry Manilow…yes I am one of those closet Barry lovers…

  19. Kim Mc November 12, 2013 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Soldier-Gavin Degraw

  20. Paige Smith November 12, 2013 at 4:52 am - Reply

    3AM byMatchbox Twenty

  21. Sarah Larson November 12, 2013 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Amazed by Lonestar but since I know you hate country music. I also like to listen to Party Rock Anthem and Sexy and I know It by LMFAO because they make me think of my 4 year old niece who knows almost all the words and she always cheers me up.
    Thanks for the chance.

  22. Maribel Torres November 12, 2013 at 5:31 am - Reply

    “Beauty from Pain” and “Stand in the Rain” from SuperChick.

  23. Wendy R November 12, 2013 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Move Along by the All-American Rejects. I love listening and singing along to the lyrics in the song because it helps me to believe in hope and that everything will be all right.

  24. Whitney McGregor November 12, 2013 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I Just Do by Dear and the Headlights… might be a bit too chipper for this book though. I freaking love this song. 🙂

  25. Amanda K. November 12, 2013 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Demons by Imagine Dragons. I’m going through a hard time dealing with a physical illness that nobody can see, and the song just really expresses how I feel.

  26. Jennifer Zorko-Legan November 12, 2013 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Thank you for the chance. Shared on FB and Twitter.

  27. Cynthia Rodriguez November 12, 2013 at 7:01 am - Reply

    I will survive by Gloria Gaynor… I’m single mom of 3 boys and putting one through college.. She peps me up.. 🙂

  28. Vanessa DeJesus November 12, 2013 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Be Happy by Mary J. Blige, Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson, Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera

  29. Sara B. November 12, 2013 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Gotta go with “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. I LOVE George Harrison!

  30. Amanda November 12, 2013 at 8:00 am - Reply

    BREAK STUFF by LIMP BIZKIT — Man, that song will take any sad, slow mood i’ve got going on and immediately turn it around and charge me up!

  31. Sarah Jones November 12, 2013 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Dancing Queen by Abba. Makes me feel like dancing!

  32. Sarah Griffin November 12, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

    The ultimate song that ALWAYS picks me up is If My Heart Was a House by Owl City <3 It is infectious!

    Another go-to is Katrina & The Waves – Walkin On Sunshine.

  33. jodi marinich November 12, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

    i would have to say that right now it is Wake Me Up by Avici

  34. kwhang November 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Any song by No Doubt or Gwen Stefani!

  35. Julie Martin November 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Free Fallin by Tom Petty

  36. Ginny November 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Gone Forever-Three Days Grace

    Can’t wait for release day. 🙂

  37. Laura G November 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Burn it Down → Awolnation

  38. Joanne November 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    A Little Respect by Erasure

  39. Trisha Hudson November 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Titanium by David Guetta

  40. Michelle K. November 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Have a nice day by Bon Jovi.

  41. Ashley Oliver November 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Drowning Pool’s ” Feel like I do” is a great pick me up song

  42. Kimberly Lenae Stewart November 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    True Love by Pink <3

  43. Kim Perry November 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Right now I love Imagine Dragons, so Radioactive or Demons.

  44. Karen Hrdlicka November 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Bob Seeger old Time Rock and Roll

  45. Stephanie Myers November 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    The Middle by Jimmy Eat World 🙂

  46. Karrie Nelson November 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    I like anything Pink..she always cheers me up. I also love the soundtrack to Mama Mia,,it just gets me dancing and singing

  47. Tammy Verhoeven November 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Devil without a cause

  48. Debra Diaz (@DebraStarDiaz) November 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Recently it has been Timber, but don’t tell anyone!

  49. Tracey November 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I’m Yours by Jason Mraz!! love the words and tempo always gets me in a good mood! I’m a weirdo with music! Love anything by Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars too. 🙂 I can’t wait to read this book it sounds so good it’s my new “most anticipated”

  50. Cezanne November 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Wake Me Up by Aviccii

  51. Melissa R November 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Roar by Katy Perry

  52. Mandy H November 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Backwards by Rascal Flatts 🙂

  53. Kendra Schmucker November 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I like Bicycle Race by Queen – its fun to sing along to and instantly cheers me up or Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) by The Offspring. Those two songs are my go-to if I had a terrible day/moment and need to laugh out loud.

  54. Lisa November 14, 2013 at 3:37 am - Reply

    It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

  55. Brandy November 15, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

    when I’m down anything up beat usually gets me feeling better!! I love Christina Perri!!

  56. Irene Rosa November 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    I like Christina Aguilera Beautiful

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