Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway: For Better or for Worse by Ingrid Nickelsen

Published: February 25th, 2014


When one story ends, another begins.

Evangeline lived a long fulfilling life. Loving mother and wife, she had everything she could wish for…until a tragic car accident took it all away from her.

Awakening in a new world with the body of a young woman, Evangeline doesn’t remember anything about her life, not even her own name. Luckily she has godparents to help guide her in this new society of the dead. As she struggles to fit in, deep inside, she can sense something is missing, a part of her that she can’t recall. When a mysterious man claims he can help get her memory back if she agrees to keep their nocturnal meetings a secret, she can’t refuse. Everything about him screams trouble, but she can’t seem to stay away. Every moment spent with him makes her feel alive again.

Is she really prepared to unveil her past completely, from beginning to end? Everything is not as it seems in her new found home, and her new life may also end in tragedy.

Rest in fear, Evangeline.


It was very hard to find information about you. So, please, tell us more about “For Better or for Worse” and about you. 
I’m a 23 year-old French girl and I currently live in Paris where I’m studying international hotel management. When I’m not studying, I’m usually writing because living only one life is just not enough. For Better or for Worse is my debut YA novel, and I would define it as a story of forbidden love in a paranormal world. 

Why do you think humanity is obsessed with after life and why did you choose this subject? 
Most people are fascinated with the idea of staying forever young. There is beauty in the concept of infinity. I’m aware it’s a nice idea, and obviously it’s a little too beautiful to be true, but that’s the kind of message I want to share with my readers. For Better or for Worse is a story about love, but most of all it is a moving story about second chances when you least expect them. We live in a society where, in times of crisis, young adults fear the future. Hope is what keeps us going despite all odds. This is what I want people to take away from my story. 

How is the “new world” you created as a “after life” world? 
I believe we all have our own idea of what an “after life” world is like. To me, it’s a place where we are given the chance to reflect back on our life one last time. A timeless place where the people we have lost along the way might just wait on our threshold to remember with us the day when our paths crossed. Evangeline doesn’t have any memories left of who she used to be, and she would be unable to recognize them if they were to meet again. It would have been a sad story if Will, a mysterious boy, had not offered to help get her memory back. 

Let’s see: Evangeline is dead, but she can be put once again in a deadly situation? How so? What she has left to lose? 
I’m aware I’m pushing the boundaries of the after life concept here. Let’s just say the world I created is full of surprises. This is not quite Heaven, and this is not quite Hell either. There is another place out there where death doesn’t necessarily mean complete extinction, otherwise there would not be a story to tell. So I’m afraid my “after life” world isn’t as peaceful as you might think it is. 

What is in your opinion the most important ingredient of great paranormal romance? 
Unexpected revelations that drive the reader over the edge!


"Everything's gonna be okay." 

Everything is going to be okay. I should repeat it to myself like a broken record. Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay. Why does it seem like these words have lost all their meaning? 

"I promise." He embraces my waist to push me closer to his warm chest. 

"How is it going to be okay?" I shake my head, unable to restrain my tears from rolling down my burning cheeks. "How? He's dead!" 

I bury my face into his collarbone to stifle my crying, listening to nothing else but the sound of his beating heart. I feel it pounding fast and hard, matching mine. It makes me cry even more. I don't want him to be strong for the both of us. That, too, isn't fair. 

He puts his hand on the back of my head. "I'm so sorry." 

I curl up against him and move my head slightly to glance at the dark ocean. This sandy beach is my favorite place on earth. This is where he kissed me for the first time. This is the place that always reminds me someone truly loves me, and sometimes it's just enough to chase the hurt. This is my haven. 

At least it was, until now. 

I ran to meet him here as soon as my little brother released my hand in his hospital bed. I knew he wouldn't force me to speak, and he didn't. He just held me close. It took the time of a wave dying in the vast ocean's arms for me to fall down in a faint, my legs quaking like an aspen leaf. His grip was so tight he fell to his knees, too, resolute not to abandon me in my rare moment of weakness. 

It feels so good to be weak. I don't care if my face is washed with tears or if I have red rims around my eyes. I need this loss of myself. I need him and my haven. 

"I'm sorry, Eve. So sorry." He sighs, clasping me tighter against him to calm me down. "I wish I could do something, anything to relieve your pain. I hate being so helpless," he hisses between clenched teeth. "It kills me." 

I peek up at him, trying to find a light of hope, but I see nothing. Tonight, I'm more aware than anyone that love isn't possession. It doesn't stand still. My world can fly away in the blink of an eye, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to fight the ruthless, cold, and brutal wind that likes to come without calling. 

"I…I just want…the world to disappear," I choke out between my sobs. The thick air is getting unbearable, harder to breathe. I press my hand against my breastbone. It hurts. It hurts too much. "I can't live anymore, I don't want to. Not like this. Please make it stop," I beg him. "Just make it stop. It hurts." 

He holds my face in his hands to make sure I meet his serious gaze. 

"Listen to me," he says slowly, scanning my face as he speaks. "I'm on your side. There are times when I wish I could escape this crazy world. But you know what? It'd be a terrible mistake to switch our life off if we get the chance." 

I vaguely wipe my face with the back of my hand, lowering my gaze. 

"Yes, you can be hurt and awfully bruised inside," he continues, gently tucking a stray lock of hair behind my ear. "Sometimes you get so scared to face the day you could suffocate. But I love you." 

His last words take me by surprise. I know he does. I just didn't expect him to say them now. 

"I love you," he says again, his voice catching ever so slightly. He strokes my face once more. "I don't want to switch my life off… because you are my life." 

I feel paralyzed for a brief moment. It doesn't make any sense. Who am I supposed to thank for the love he's offering me? Are they the same odds that are against me tonight? Those who first harm me to bless me next? 

I desperately love him. I do. So much. He's always been my hero, and logically speaking, a hero is supposed to be indestructible. He'll be here, until the end of time. I have to be sure of that. I want to be sure of that. 

"He's gone." I shrug sadly, more tears falling out of my eyes. "He'll never be seventeen. I'll never get the chance to see him anymore. Never again…It's over." I try to put together in a wrecked breath, willing for more comfort. 

"No, he's not. He's right here," he says, pointing at my hammering heart. "He's probably in a better world now." 

I instinctively look up at the starry sky with a broken smile. I hope he is. He deserves to be. 

"Eve." He tips my chin down to hold my gaze. "Maybe now is the time to share what's in your heart, too. There's no forever." 

I quickly shake my head. 

"Don't say that." I take a long, ragged breath. I really don't know how to breathe anymore. "We have time." 

The disappointed light in his eyes is his only reply. 

He bends down instead, and softly puts his lips close enough to touch mine. His hands travel up my cheeks and fondle my hair as he gives me a tender kiss. These are the ones I love the most. Our breath mingles together as I forget the world around us, and just like that, the ache begins to vanish little by little. 

Not entirely, but just enough for the dizziness to take over so I may abandon myself in my most secured place. 

His arms. 

He knows I want to say those three words. I just need more time. 

About the author:
Ingrid is a 23-year-old French girl, college student, and dreamer. She currently resides in Paris, where she spends most of her time going to museums and the movies. Despite the romantic atmosphere in Montmartre, or even the fancy cafés in the Champs Elysées, she would easily trade it all for a nice walk in the woods with her schnauzer, Golden. She is always craving adventures, and finds that books are the cheapest way to travel to far-away lands. She is inwardly convinced that words have the power to heal the worst blisters on our hearts, or at least can make us forget about them for a little while. And sometimes, it is just enough to face another crazy day. 

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