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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

your best and last night - Mariposa by Kim Wells

Intertwined with true-ghost stories, some heart-warming, some heart-breaking, this love-note to San Antonio combines history, myth, and vivid description.


Release date: December 24th, 2014 
Cover Artist: Lawrence Mann

What if the best night of your life was also your last? 

On the eve of a much-anticipated proposal, Meg is happier than she could have ever imagined. The future she sees for herself on that magical night is bright, one that’s full of love and laughter and dreams finally realized. 

That is, until one random act of violence changes everything… 

Consumed by fate and forces she can’t comprehend, Meg finds herself at the center of a spectral conflict that transcends life and death. 

Her very soul is up for grabs in this war, and what’s worse… she’s not the only one. 

Now, she’s fighting not just for the love she lost, but the daughter she would have called her own. She must fight the battle of her life, for the sake of her friends and family, and find out for herself if love can indeed be stronger than death. 

Intertwined with true-ghost stories, some heart-warming, some heart-breaking, this love-note to San Antonio combines history, myth, and vivid description. 

This is the full story of Meg & Amelinda's quest-journey, what author Laura Metzger calls "A beautifully written story with compelling characters that reach between the universe of the living and the dead to embrace their mutual destiny" and author Elena E. Giorgi calls "A beautiful tale of love and redemption." 

Sources for NA inspiration

Pinterest makes a great place to collect my inspiration for some of the story moments. The initial spur for me came when I got the first line, so I knew I had to have the “great outfit” clearly described. I initially had them all downloaded to my computer, and then when I discovered Pinterest, it got so much easier. My pinterest page is HERE, but you really don’t want to look at it if you haven’t finished the story. It will spoil a number of super secret plot elements. 

So I’ll research a topic like crazy, even a place I know as well as I know San Antonio. It’s much easier to pull up a photo when you want to write a scene than to drive over there to make sure you got the details right. And even if it’s just the briefest mentions of something, something you would only notice in passing, I need the details to be right. 

It works, because a number of readers have told me they liked the descriptions of San Antonio so much they want to visit there now. I need to send the tourist & visitor center a bill. 

I’ll admit that a number of scenes of pure description from the story ended up cut because I get so caught up in describing the scene that the story lags. But at the same time, I want my stories to be very grounded in real places, very sensory in nature, and for that to happen, the reader wants to know what the couch looks like, what the food tastes like, what songs might be playing on the PA system. So when I get stuck, I’ll go look at an image. Why? Because that’s the kind of story I want to read. I hate it when authors leave everything up to your imagination. I want to know what color the shirt is! And sometimes, I want to find out later that the shirt being red meant something special. 

One scene in the novel, where Meg is trapped in one of the “bad” ghost’s lair, I knew I wanted the bad ghost to have a series of collectibles, magic-items that she used to ensnare other ghosts. So I googled something like “antique nick nacks” and found this amazing picture of a dresser covered in items like silver brushes, jewelry boxes, scarves, feathers. One of the items ended up being the focus-item in one element of Meg’s magic, a kind of talisman, until she could figure it out on her own, without the help.

Other things, like the snow globe of San Antonio—I actually used to own one of those. My son broke it a couple of years ago which drives me nuts because they’re super rare and collectible now. You just can’t find it on the internet anymore. But I have a pin of it because I had stuck the image on my hard drive, back in the day, and it helped me visualize what I wanted to do with that particular scene, a scene which moves the narrative into the home stretch towards the big conflict finale. 

Another pin that I have is of a video by a band called CocoRosie, for their song “Gallows.” They really get this very spooky, madwoman haunting and scaring, otherworldly vibe in the video, and the song is just creepy and weird. I listened to the song about 100 times on repeat while I was writing several of the scenes. I know that when Renata, the audiobook narrator, wanted some information on how to voice characters, I told her about the video and with one of the major baddies, you can really hear the influence of this song. 

The story really is grounded in the city, and the fantasy peeks through in elements like the mural (which is a major player on the cover, too) and the descriptions of the ghosts that make up a major part of Meg’s quest. I love being able to share the files with people, too, because then they go “OH WOW! That’s totally how I pictured Martha!” Also, there won’t be any confusion when Hollywood decides to cast the movie. :D 

About the author:
Kim wrote her first critically acclaimed (if you call her fourth grade teacher a critic, and she does) short story when she was 9 years old. It was about Christmas in a Cave, and it featured such topical, ground-breaking subjects as homelessness & cave dwelling. She's been writing ever since. The state of publication depends on who you ask.

She has a Ph.D. in Literature, with specialties in American Lit, Women Writers, Feminism, Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Film Studies but please don't hold any of that against her. She teaches academic writing and how to read literature at a university in her hometown and tries to convince college students that it really is cool to like poetry.

She lives in the South, has twin children (one girl, one boy) and a husband who is the model for all her best romantic heroes. She also has two cats-- one black and sassy, one stripey and fat, and also kinda sassy.


Katerina said...

This seems like an awesome book! Loved the trailer!!

Jan Lee said...

Interesting cover :) I liked the review, and hope to read this book!

Unknown said...

sounds like a great Love and romance book, with a twist of a Ghost Story!! Love the sounds of this!! Great giveaway too!! Wow a kindle. thanks so much
Happy Holidays.

Stephanie LaPlante said...

Sounds very interesting! Awesome giveaway!

Richard Brandt said...

San Antonio's a great town, glad to see it's getting its spectral due.

Bridgett Wilbur said...

I love the excerpt and would love to read the book. ty.

Unknown said...

It looks like an interesting book, and thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a book in which one could lose oneself. Fun.

Unknown said...

interesting book! can wait to read this!