Tag Archives: Urban Rhapsody YA series

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

Blufire

WSW Final front cover brandi

evelyn1

evelyn2

evelyn3

evelyn4

evelyn7

evelyn8

evelyn9

evelyn11

evelyn12

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Urban Rhapsody: The Love Song of Cyan and Kendall (Serial Story#2)

cyan & kendall

Click the following link if you would like to read the first installment, told from Kendall’s point-of-view, before you continue with Cyan’s story written below.

https://womanlution.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-love-song-of-cyan-kendall-serial-story-1/

Cyan

I had no compassion for my daughter, Kendall.

It exited stage left six years ago after a near-fatal car accident, the shards of the windshield glass piercing my body.  The scars healed into a haphazard pattern of Orion’s belt.

Kenny, my late husband and Kendall’s father, used to stare up at the night sky on humid summer nights and pick out the constellations.  It’s funny how on the night he steered our car into a path of oncoming traffic on I-4, with Kendall crying out for help in the back seat, Orion’s constellation was the last thing I saw before my consciousness flickered out.

Orion must have shot his arrow through our car’s windshield.

Kenny wasn’t quite right in the head when he came back from Afghanistan.  I knew it, but I tried to love it out of him. I couldn’t love the craziness out of him, so I gave up on loving.  It was overrated, just like Kendall’s ranting and raving over me going out.

Now that I thought about it, her behavior was reminding me of Kenny.  But she was no war veteran.  She was just a thirteen-year-old, trying to be too fresh and smell herself. I slid my cigarette between my lips and blew a cloud of smoke into her face, daring her to speak, forcing her to move back.

Kendall coughed and leaned against the armoire.  Her chest heaved in huffs.

I repeated my question.   “When did you get grown?”

Kendall regained her breath and said, “A year after Dad’s death when you left me home alone for two weeks.”  She pointed to the long, black burn mark that began at her hand and wrapped around her forearm. Kendall said,  “Little kids should get nicks and scratches from playing outside, not playing house.”

I didn’t have time for this.  I pried Jamila’s claws from digging into my ankles and tossed her on the bed and moved back in front of the mirror. I smoothed down my side-swept bang with hair gel and pinned the middle section of my hair into a beehive hump.  “You survived. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and teaches you to fend for yourself.”

That’s what I wished my parents would have done for me.  We stayed in one of those subdivisions in Southeast Orlando off Curry Road not too far from Lake Underhill.  My parents sent me to a private school and gave me the best of everything in life.  I had no responsibilities.  I was an only child, and their wish for me was to go to college and make something out of my life.  I fell in love with Kenny and got pregnant at seventeen.

Kenny and I got married at the courthouse, and he entered the U.S. Navy shortly after graduation. I dropped out of high school and became a Navy wife living on the base.  I depended on him for everything.  If I had thought about myself, I wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital fighting for my life. I wouldn’t have ended up here.

Kendall rocked Jamila in her arms.  She looked like a younger version of me, those nights when Kenny was out to sea, a child trying to quell the cries of a colicky newborn, the blind leading the blind.  Jamila drifted off to sleep. Kendall propped two pillows on the bed with one hand and laid the two-year-old on top of them with the other.

The corner of the picture frame hanging above the bed poked Kendall in the forehead as she stood up. She brushed her fingers along the blown-up, black-and-white photograph of her and me.  We took the picture and sent it to Kenny a month after she was born.  He was such a proud papa when the boat pulled into port, waving that 3×5 in his hand and rushing us the next day to the neighborhood photographer’s studio to get it done the way it hung on my wall now.

I heard three short beeps of Ray’s car horn followed by one loud, drawn-out one.  Loverboy is quite the impatient one.

I opened my Louis Vutton purse, the one my gentleman caller downstairs gave me, straightened out the crumpled $20 bill and said, “ Kendall, it is almost 11p.m.  Get Troy off that devilish Xbox and send him to the store up the street.  Get some of that honey ham lunchmeat, a loaf of bread and anything else you can think of to hold all of you until I come back tomorrow.”

I could have sworn that I heard Kendall sniffle.  She hasn’t cried since the day of the accident. Kendall yanked the photo down and smashed it against the nightstand. Here we go, I thought, more theatrics before I head out.  I said, “Kendall, have you lost your mind?”

Kendall snatched the money out of my hand and stormed out of the room and said, “No, only my mother.”

Before I could catch her, she had already slammed and locked her bedroom door.  I said, “You better have that mess cleaned up before I get back.”

As I sat in the passenger seat, I immediately forgot about what just happened and who I was. The way I had always dealt with my life.

Copyrighted and All Rights Reserved to Alexandra Caselle.  This is an original young adult story.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Urban Rhapsody: The Love Song of Cyan and Kendall ( Serial Story #1)

cyan & kendall

Kendall

He cradled my face into the curve of his neck, filling my nose with his Escape cologne.  Our bodies swayed in sync to the slow jams being played in Houlihan Middle School’s gym.  This had to be the most perfect night of my life.  He casually lifted my chin.

My girls, Arisha, Kemba, and Nia eyed me with so much jealousy.  I smirked with my signature half-grin because I had it like that.  Kendall always dealt with the finest in everything.

The guy brushed my hair back behind my ears and moved his lips closer and closer.  I remained calm, even though inside, I was mentally checking to see if those breath mints kicked halitosis to sleep and if my cherry-flavored lip gloss still painted my thin lips.

Goosebumps scaled my spine.  I couldn’t believe it.  My first kiss.  And it would be from my favorite hip hop singer.  My mind screamed with anticipation. My arms wrapped tightly around his neck and my face as cool as a cucumber because I had to represent myself as a sophisticated young lady.

Okay, it was about to happen.  I braced myself for the impact.  My girls told me that kissing a boy made the earth shake.  The bile in my stomach was the only thing moving.

He slipped further and further away from me as blood curdling wails erupted from Jamila’s mouth, awakening me from my deep slumber.  It’s amazing how her two-year old lungs could expel so much air and noise.  I threw back the covers and grimaced.

That little twerp interrupted my dream. Her cries pierced the air again.  “No go, Mama!”

My fists clenched against my waist.  Cyan must be packing her overnight bags for one of her weekend trips.  It figures.  We do not see eye-to-eye on everything.  I wondered if the same guy I met last month would accompany her this weekend.  It’s always a different one.

Don’t get me wrong.  My mom was not one of those chicken heads with a sparse head of hair brushed up in one ponytail with gold teeth in her mouth and four-inch fingernails.  She did work double shifts at Walmart during the week and took pride in her looks.

Cyan just didn’t have her priorities straight.  She always came first, leaving me behind to serve as a surrogate mother to my younger sister and brother.  I cooked their meals, wiped their noses, washed everyone’s clothes, and nursed cuts.

It’s bad enough that she travels so frequently, but it broke the little ones’ hearts because they needed their mom.  Even though I’m growing up, I needed her, too.

I stormed into my mama’s bedroom and saw Jamila’s arms locked around my mama’s legs.  Tears streamed down her face and landed on her nightgown.

Cyan, oblivious to her pleading, gazed in front of the mirror and applied her makeup. “Jamila, get off me.  No need to cry because I ain’t staying.”

She lined her eyes and smacked her lips as she winked with approval.  She could at least comfort the girl.  That was what normal mothers do, for crying out loud.

I said, “Why don’t you stay home sometimes?”

My mama angled her body in front of mine.  The scent of nicotine tickled my lungs.  “A little ‘me’ time.  Can I get that, Kendall?”

A burst of adrenalin robbed me of my common sense. I straightened my back and matched my mom’s gaze with one of my own. “Can I get a little time to be a thirteen-year-old, Cyan?”

My mother said, “I see we are on a first-name basis, now.  When did you become grown?”

Judging by her response, I knew I had crossed the line of respect with her.  Part of me prayed that I could make it through the rest of the night with my life.  The other part didn’t care.

Copyrighted and All Rights Reserved to Alexandra Caselle.  This is an original young adult story.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized