Tag Archives: paranormal

What is Hidden Will Eventually Be Unearthed–Wraithsong by E. J. Squires

Wraithsong cover-1

~Birthed from the cradle of humanity. Destined to break the boundaries of both worlds.~

Eve, mother of all living,

labored and toiled long days and nights.

One day, God came down and visited her.

Embarrassed that she only had enough time

to clean seven of her thirteen children,

she hid the six soiled ones from him.

God found them, and reprimanded Eve

for having been ashamed

of her own flesh and blood.

“Those you have hidden from me…”

God said, “…they will stand out

from the rest of mankind.

 I will clean them for you

so that all men and women will aspire

to be that which you have cast aside.

From this day forward,

they will be known as the Huldra,

meaning secret desire.”

–Origin myth excerpted from Wraithsong

Wraithsong is a YA paranormal romance in which Sonia is a high school senior approaching graduation and her eighteenth birthday.  She is dealing with typical adolescent girl problems: a Mean Girls Regina George  carbon copy, Savannah, harassing her over a guy she could care less about & Sonia’s unique conflict-resolution  style of spitting in the Savannah’s face leading to a principal’s office visit and a work detail punishment with a guy whom she would rather be with, Anthony.

Oh, yeah—the spit has a supernatural effect on people: it brings them under Sonia’s control.

As Sonia approaches her 18th birthday, other powers and secrets about her ancestry are revealed through a sensational chain of events and plot twists that will keep the reader engaged in suspense. She discovers that she is part of a mystical group of beings known as The Huldra.  They are very powerful and beautiful creatures who are facing extinction at the hands of someone deep within their ranks.  But who is it?  Is it Anthony, his mother–The Great Huldra– or someone else?  Things get really complicated as Sonia and Anthony get closer and Sonia’s mother is kidnapped.

Wraithsong is the perfect blend of mythology, the paranormal, and adolescent angst.  It would appeal to middle school and high school readers.  Teens will be especially drawn to Sonia and Anthony.

Six Questions For Evelyn Squires

1) Before you started writing, you were a ballerina and a dance studio director. What do you like about dancing? How are dancing and writing similar or different to you?
I started dancing when I was twelve, and immediately fell in love with the art form—I still love it. I love music, so that is a big part of it, but I also love the freedom movement gives and the creativity behind choreography. In ballet you learn hundreds upon hundreds of different movements or steps, and to choreograph, you weave them together. It is the same in writing, but in writing you use words and weave them together to create a story. They are also the same in that the art form makes you think and feel human experience and emotion if done correctly. They are very different because one words as the medium, the other uses movements with music. Both can be very powerful, if done right, in conveying.

2) How did you come up with the idea for Wraithsong?
My husband actually suggested I write a contemporary novel based on these alluring creatures, and I just started writing!

3) Why would Norse mythology interest young teens?
I think in general any type of mythology and folklore interests teens and adults. There is something compelling about Norse mythology and folklore in general, from Thor’s mighty hammer to light and dark elves, to trolls and beyond. So much of literature is base in Norse mythology (Think Lord of the Rings for example), and most don’t realize how many of these supernatural beings originally come from Norse Mythology (Elves, trolls, dwarfs, giants…)

4) If Wraithsong was made into a movie, which actor and actress would you like to see as Sonia and Anthony?
Sonia: Jane Levy (blonde)
Anthony: Alex Pettyfer

5) What makes Wraithsong stand out among other paranormal YA romance novels? What made you interested in writing for young adults?
It stands out from others because it takes a completely new supernatural creature and weaves it into today’s world. There are no vampires or witches, but a new being with some really amazing powers. Teens can relate to Sonia (the lead) because she goes through a lot of challenges as she matures and grows up. She doesn’t understand what is happening to her and why she is changing so dramatically, and the intense urges and feelings she is experiencing, and I remember feeling that way as a teen (though, of course I don’t have the power she does). I love the YA genre, because you are just coming to truly know yourself and it is an exciting time in life where anything can happen. The world is at your fingertips and there is so much to look forward to.

6) The Huldra have the ability to take certain qualities from humans. If you could select certain qualities or powers from real or imagined people, which five would you choose?
I would choose the following:

Patience (Could always use more!)

Assertiveness (So I would put myself out there more)

Wisdom (So I would know what to do in difficult predicaments or situations)

Humor (I am not too serious of a person, but more humor in the everyday would be awesome!)

Self-control (So I would stop eating so much chocolate!)

Author Bio
Evelyn J. Squires was born in Asker, Norway and is the second of eight children. Her father, being an entrepreneur, moved the family back and forth from the US to Norway, and finally settled in Utah in 1992. Evelyn completed high school and continued her education at Brigham Young University where she studied Comparative Literature and Ballet among other things, and in 2007 she opened a ballet studio in Florida. Evelyn has always loved to read and has written poetry, lyrics and short stories. In 2012 she decided it was time to change careers so she could spend more time with her three young children and started writing. Her first series, A Viking Blood Saga, though truly an Epic Fantasy, is centered around Norse Mythology and the Vikings. Being from Norway she enjoys learning about her heritage as she writes books. Wraithsong, the first book in the Desirable Creatures series, is her first contemporary Paranormal Romance and is based in Norse Folklore. Currently, Evelyn resides in Florida with her husband and three young children.

Connect with Evelyn on her website:  http://ejsquires.com/about-me.html

Where to Buy Wraithsong

http://www.amazon.com/Wraithsong-Desirable-Creatures-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00IT5ADXC/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Teaching Activity for Wraithsong

Mythology is one of the main genres of literature that is covered in 9th grade. Typically, adolescents become familiar with Greek mythology through works such as The Odyssey, The AeneidAntigone, & etc.  Wraithsong gives teachers the opportunity to broaden the scope.

With Roman & Greek mythology, students learn about the hierarchies of gods and goddesses.  Wraithsong has its own hierarchy as well.  The Huldra have the power to appropriate characteristics from humans.  Students could decide which powers or characteristics they can take from various gods and goddesses and create their own.  Since Wraithsong has the Huldra existing in modern day times, students could place their newly formed creatures in a modern high school setting and write their own stories. The idea of taking different qualities and merging them together seems similar to cooking.  All of those ingredients come together to create a uniform dish of flavors.  Instead of stories, students can describe the composition of their new gods and goddesses in the form of a recipe.  Each appropriated or newly created attribute or power could be listed as ingredients.  The directions could tell how to combine them into a new creature and explain how this creature would impact the world.

The YA novel also poses a real world problem:  people’s misuse or abuse of power.  Whether you are the Great Huldra trying to galvanize different groups within the supernatural race or a CEO running a large corporation, the famous quotes still apply:  1) “With great power comes great responsibility.”  2) “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  There are other real world and/or social problems that plague our society today as well.  In what ways could they be portrayed and solved?  How can the problems that Sonia, Anthony, & the Huldra be portrayed and resolved?

Students could pursue the answer to this question creatively, of course, through recipes and haiku.

Here are two examples that deal with Hurricane Katrina and language discrimination:

A haiku follows this pattern:

1st line—–5 syllables

2nd line— 7 syllables

3rd line—  5 syllables

Hurricane Katrina

Nature’s fury strikes,

Leaving her victims despondent.

Don’t blame; help rebuild.

Cooking up a solution to language discrimination

1 cup of acceptance

½ cup of change

2 teaspoons of each dialect and language

3 cups of grammar rules

4 tablespoons of code-switching

2 quarts of misconceptions

2 cups of stereotypes

Blend stereotypes and misconceptions until the mixture is smooth and all lumps disappear.  Stereotypes and misconceptions must be minimized before change is added.  Fold in change, a little at a time.  Pause during the process to allow the change to slowly dissolve the mixture.  Sprinkle grammar rules into the mixture gently.  They are needed for students to learn Standard English, but dumping them in all at once may threaten the texture of the mixture. Spoon in each dialect and language and stir slowly, allowing each one of them to be represented equally.  Sift code-switching into the batter.  This ingredient allows students to realize that certain situations call for certain types of language.  Pour the mixture into a classroom and cover with acceptance.   Bake at 180 degrees or days.  Give time for students and teachers to compromise on the use and variety of language.

Thematic Connections

(These novels also contain some of the themes and paranormal attributes found in Wraithsong.  Listed below is a mix of literature that involves Greek and Norse mythology and fantastical myths and characters representative of different cultures and settings. They can be paired together for whole group, small group, or a thematic feature for independent reading areas.  Wraithsong can also be paired with classical literature such as Dante’s Inferno & Paradise Lost because the YA novel’s detailed history of the Huldra includes similar elements.)

Fall of the Nine Realms ebook cover

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Synced by the Supernatural: Rooted by Amy Good

Amy With Rooted

Rooted by Amy Good

A YA Paranormal Novel That Will Stretch the Boundaries of Your Imagination

Perfect for Middle & High School Readers

Rooted Blurb

Rooted is the story of Chloe Chastain, a not-quite-average teenage girl living in the Pacific Northwest.  Chloe is a tree spirit doing her best to avoid the local werewolf pack, and she’s determined not to get caught up with the werewolf hunters that have descended upon her small town or fail her sophomore year of high school.  Or get stuck in detention.  Again.  But just because she wants to keep a low profile doesn’t mean she’ll be able to!  Soon Chloe’s friend is turned into a werewolf, she attracts a dangerous stalker, and she finds herself investigating missing girls and murder.  It turns out there is so much more at stake than her permanent record.

amy-rooted

Image found on Google

Naturally Rooted

Lay your hands on its bark

Feel the energy humming inside

Place your ear against its core

Listen to what it is saying to you

Sync into its synergy

and start seeing the world

in a different light.

amygood ROOTED - SmallishRooted by Amy Good

This YA paranormal novel is an excellent addition to any middle or high school classroom library.  Chloe is a character that many adolescents would be able to connect to through the typical problems that she faces. But not every teenager has to deal with being a tree spirit.  Not every teenager has an undeniable connection with werewolves.  Not every teenager has a best friend who becomes a werewolf.

The mythological lore revolving around the two paranormal beings would spark the interest of reluctant teen readers.  It also invites thematic connections to other classic, contemporary, and young adult literature in the paranormal region.  Within each class of paranormal species, there is an order defined by rules.  There is a mystery that surrounds them and makes them intriguing.  As one studies Greek mythology and the supernatural powers and connections between the gods themselves and also humans, a teacher could bring Rooted into the discussion.

Who could forget the mystery and suggestion of a darker presence in Wuthering Heights?  Hints of the supernatural arise in the collection of stories by Charles W. Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman.  Rooted taps into the fantastical canon of literature that demonstrates how things we do not understand cannot always be explained, but only experienced and acknowledged.

Not only is  Rooted  an extraordinary story that shows how people can never deny their connections to others because they may be of help one day, but the author, Amy Good is an inspirational writer.  She establishes her own connections through her words and her videos.  Here are a couple of links in which she shares her experiences with aphasia and advice to aspiring writers.

In Rooted, Chloe teaches adolescents the importance of not denying who they are. That lesson is very important for teens and adults to learn and master.

Author Interview

Question#1—How did you come up with the story idea for Rooted? Did you choose the paranormal genre or did it choose you?

I’ve actually been told by a few of my early readers that I shouldn’t have veered into the supernatural with Rooted because I had a good-enough story without it!  But in my mind, it was always going to be a supernatural book. When I thought of Chloe, I immediately imbued her with all of my love for the Pacific Northwest and she became the physical embodiment of that, so of course she had to be a supernatural creature!

The rest of the ideas for Rooted evolved over a period of a few months. First and most importantly,  I watched a marathon of MTV’s Teen Wolf and by the end, I knew I wanted to write a story about werewolves!  I knew I wanted to fill the world with lots of different kinds of shapeshifters, though, and to give the female protagonist something unique that I hadn’t seen before. Around the same time, I had read a news story about an orphaned girl who had been bullied so badly she’d committed suicide, and somehow her story became part of Rooted.  And after having my daughter, I found myself wanting to explore how much harder it is to be a teen right now, as opposed to when I was that age. Because let’s face it…. teens today have things so much tougher!!

Question#2–Which characters do you think middle school and high schools would connect with the most and why?

I tried very hard to make Chloe an authentic character that mirrored – to the best of my ability – an actual person that could exist. She has insecurities and strengths, flaws and virtues. She is dealing with the world in the best way that she knows how. I only hope that readers of that age are able to connect with her and see some of themselves reflected back.

Question#3–Many adolescents struggle with some type of disability and may think they are limited in what they can do.  What advice would you give to them?  How would your experiences inspire them?

So many times, we set the limitations on ourselves. If we really look at the problem, it’s just an obstacle. It’s not a roadblock. There are many ways past an obstacle, and they’re usually not the ways we thought we’d take in the beginning. We may have to think outside the box and test the boundaries we put in place for ourselves. It’s a lot of hard work to get over the obstacles, but once they’re out of the way, it’s so worth it!

Gosh, it’s really hard to think of myself as inspiring. My experiences with a brain injury slowed me down, but I’m just too stubborn to let anything stop me from pursuing my dreams. So I guess if my experiences could inspire anyone, I’d hope they would be inspired to be more stubborn! You can get a lot done in life by just not giving up!!

Question#4–If you could be any supernatural creature and/or have a special power, which would you choose? 

Oh gosh! There are so many possibilities… how do I choose just one?? Um, okay, if I absolutely had to choose, I’d want the ability to teleport. No more commutes! Think how much time I’d save!!

Question#5– Tree spirits and werewolves are main characters in your book. What is the relationship between tree spirits and werewolves? Are there any other supernatural beings linked to werewolves or spirits that readers may not know about?

In my mind, they are all creatures of spirit, or creatures of a dual nature. They have a human side, but they also have a spirit side, and when their spirit sides take over, they shapeshift. In that sense, all the shapeshifters are linked…. And I don’t want to say any more because I might spoil something!

Question#6–It is often said that art is the imitation of life. With each book, readers learn at least one thing about themselves or their world.  How do you think Rooted will impact your readers?

Many of Chloe’s preconceived notions are tested, and she learns that her world is not what she thought it was, both in the supernatural sense and in the mundane sense. I think that’s an important lesson we learn as we grow up and I’m hoping that’s what will impact on the teens who read Rooted, since they’re in that magical place in life where all of their preconceptions are being challenged as they mature.

Question#7– If you were to write your own epitaph, what would you say?

Survived by a loving family. Outlived by vibrant characters.

Question#8–As writers, we love to create our own reality.  Describe the perfect world that you would create.

This world is filled with really terrible stuff. And I’d love to say a spell to get rid of all the terrible stuff, but if I did that, I’d get rid of all of the really wonderful stuff, too. Right now, there are millions of people rising above the terrible things life dishes out; they are actively working, each in their own way, to make the world better. And like any ecosystem, if you get rid of the cockroaches, you may end up inadvertently killing the butterflies too. So I think my perfect world is one where we’re all striving to rise above the terrible stuff…. But now that I think about it, dragons might be kinda cool!! 😉

Author Bio

Amy Good is a writer from the U.S. currently living in Dublin.  She writes part-time, but only when her tyrannical toddler allows it!  When she is not writing, she tweets about the joys and troubles of being a writer, a geek, a toddler mom and a non-native Dubliner.  Her first book, Rooted, is available (at no charge) for download at www.amicgood.com.

Find Amy at:

www.amicgood.com

http://www.facebook.com/amicgood

http://amicgood.tumblr.com/

http://twitter.com/amicgood

Thematic Connections

beautifulandcursed The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

beautiful and cursed2The Tempest Tales by Walter Mosley

beautiful and cursed  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

beautiful and cursed3 Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

beautifulandcursed4  Living Violet by Jaime Reed

beautifuland cursed5  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

 

 

Other Paranormal YAL http://zettaelliott.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/african-american-speculative-fiction-for-kids/

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Supernatural Synergy of the Adolescent Kind–Manifest: A Mystyx Novel by Artist Arthur

Image found on Google Images

Image found on Google Images

It reverberates

throughout her inner being

Calling, connecting.

–By Alexandra Caselle

manifest

Arthur, Artist. Manifest:  A Mystyx Novel. $9.99. Kimani Tru/Kimani
Press: 2010. 978-0-373-83196-8.  
People always say to beware of things that look good on the outside. One never knows the hang ups that are inside.  But why does this cute guy who suddenly appears in fifteen-year-old Krystal’s life has to be a ghost?  Some boys don’t shower or have bad breath.  But who has ever heard of a boy who is part of the undead? And the undead wants her to find his murderer.

It is bad enough that her parents have divorced, her mother remarries, and she is in a new school. Now she is the teen Long Island medium.  As Krystal struggles with this newfound power, she discovers other teens at her school, Sasha and Jake, who possess the powers of teleportation and telekinesis.  Now they want her to acclimate to her new power as if she were just adjusting to a change of clothing or hairstyle.

Arthur includes new and old ways of communication such as texting and letters from someone in the past to pull middle and high school readers into the plot.  In the middle of all of this mayhem in Krystal’s life, there is the mysterious power that may not only threaten her but everyone around her.

This novel gives adolescents an African American paranormal heroine and charts her journey of coming-of-age and coming into her powers. They will identify with her plight of accepting what makes her different as a gift instead of a curse and dealing with the real-life changes that occur in most families today.

Text-to-Text Connections

blood magic  Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton  Reese and Silla have family problems of a different kind than what Krystal endures.  Their parents were killed in a murder-suicide.  The whole town thinks that they are crazy,too.  Well, piercing her finger and using the blood to conjure up the supernatural doesn’t help change public consensus.  Silla discovers her father’s journal and begins experimenting with spells.  The “blood magic” rituals catches the attention of Josephine, a centuries-old ghost who is not to be crossed.

good houseThe Good House by Tanarive Due It is often heard that the sins of the father become the sins of the children, and that which is in the dark always come into the light.  For Angela Touissant, she discovers how one person’s actions can have a detrimental, generational impact on her family.  She returns to her grandmother’s home to reconcile her own family, but she ends up challenging a formaidable spirit that may be more detrimental than the loss of her son.  Due’s narrative style will send chills up adolescent readers’ spines as her details make them feel like they are standing right beside Angela as she faces evil incarnate.

Due’s short story, “Summer,” would be another chilling work to pair with Manifest.  http://nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/summer/

bad to cursedFrom Bad to Cursed  by Katie Alender  With the name like the Sunshine Club, an adolescent girl would think that this club was harmless.  All of the girls who join it become popular and beautiful overnight.  Everyone would die to be in their shoes.  In order to be a Sunshine girl, a girl literally would die.  Behind the chillingly bright smiles is a psychic connection to a force known as Aralt.  Unfortuantely for Alexis, she has already had enough of the supernatural.  She and her sister Katie just survived Katie’s ghostly possession.  Alexis and her friend, Megan infiltrate the group in hopes of saving her sister, but Alexis soon finds out how easy it is to get the “devil” in her.

sea rising red  When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen  Vampires, magic, competing royal houses—When The Sea is Rising Red is a novel that blends fantasy, the paranormal, and the fantastic into an intriguing tale of one girl’s desire to buck tradition and live life according to her rules.  Felicita is born into one of the richest ruling classes in Pelimburg.  When her best friend, Ilven, commits suicide right before she is betrothed, Felicita runs away to the mainland and tries to shed her royal ties.  The further she gets away from home, the less power she has.  The scriven dust is the root of her power and her family is the only one who manufactures it.  As she juggles her growing interest in Jannik, a vampire who also struggles with family tradition, and Dash, the mainland’s bad boy, Felicita begins to realize the true impact of Ilven’s suicide and the true identity of the sea spirit that threatens the land.

mama day Mama Day by Gloria Naylor  Set in an island off the coast of Georgia, this novel again shows the impact of one’s actions on a family’s lineage.  Mama Day is a force to be reckoned with, a conjure woman who can cause lightning to strike with one wave of her stick.  But the beauty of Naylor’s work is how she uses the supernatural to make social commentary.  Her work is reminiscent of the late Octavia Butler’s style, whose novels Kindred and Wild Seed can also be used with Arthur’s Manifest.

Manifest is the first of the Mystyx series.  Read more about these mysterious teens who share powers that are out of this world.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a supernatural power and to be connected to someone through it?  Oh wait, we do.  As part of the human race, we are connected by the power of love.

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