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.

Monday, January 7, 2019

learning the painful truth - Evoke by Danielle Simmons

"I’ve never been much of reader, but Evoke changed that. I couldn’t put it down. [...] 
I can’t wait for the rest of the series to be released, it left me wanting more." Julie, Goodreads


Published: November 2018

When five friends come home from college for the summer, it feels as if the friendship that has bound them together since childhood, is stronger than ever. But when Laney Thomas wakes up two months later and discovers she is the sole survivor of an accident that has claimed the lives of three friends, Laney realizes the world she has awakened, is not the one she remembers. The loss is devastating, changing her life irrevocably, and with no recollection of the accident or the days leading up to it, Laney must rely on Evan Davies, the only one not in the car that night, to help her heal. The two have always been close, sharing a rare and inextricable bond, and as long as he is by her side, the emptiness won’t swallow her whole. But when Evan disappears from her life without explanation, Laney is forced into her memories of the past, learning the painful truth of the friendships she cherished, and love coveted.

Romance for YA /NA 

So glad to be asked about this, and I’ve been doing a lot of research on the topic of YA and NA lately -- as I see NA as a really untapped market -- and the boundaries of romance for each. And while I’ve heard publishers put dollars behind NA a few years ago but didn’t see it flourish the way YA did when it hit fever pitch in the Twilight generation, I still see NA as a very viable genre, a best friend to YA, and one deserving of attention.

For me, when creating characters and stories, it feels as if there is a clear line between the experiences of teens and college students, and the post college years. (I understand not everyone goes to college but for me, college was my path, so it’s the point of familiarity I write from and the way I categorize stories in those two genres.) It is the experiences I myself had in those years I draw from heavily, and this is true in the case of love. I can easily remember how it felt to like/love/want in those two distinct times of my life and therefore, the way I write romance in each genre relates accordingly.

Regardless of whether a book is YA or NA, the characters feelings are real. Age does not determine whether or not a love a character is experiencing, is real or right. In this regard, a pure YA story can be incredibly rewarding because the reader may be taking the journey alongside the main character and when they finally achieve payoff it’s in a first kiss, touch or even just confirmation of mutual affection. The payoff meets the journey of the character and story – and reader’s need. With NA, that payoff is different and unique to that character’s age, situation, and need. 

HOWEVER, while the lines for YA tends to be characters up to high school and NA characters in the college or post college, I find college to be a bit of a grey area and feel stories in this timeframe can be YA and NA, despite what I’ve seen industry experts say (i.e. that a book can’t be two genres. I find this bologna, and there is a great conversation about it here). And because of this, the romance in a story that blends YA and NA, can have payoffs that align, too. 

This is where the payoff in a blended YA/NA story can be tough and where a powerful story and character that aligns with both YA and NA is needed. You can’t have a sexually overt YA/NA character and have her payoff be a first kiss. But you could have a YA/NA character lose her memory and take the journey of rediscovering firsts through a journey into her YA years (wink, wink – EVOKE!) 

For me, stories that explore love -- in any age -- and its impact on who we are, our lives and our worlds, are those I like to read and write. There is to me, nothing more powerful than love. 

About the author:
Danielle grew up in a small town in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills. A voracious reader from an early age, she began writing poetry and short stories in elementary school, and continued that passion throughout high school and college. She studied literature, creative writing and communications at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, sons and two cats, where she is a PR executive by day, and writer by night.

Author's Giveaway
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Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Victoria Alexander said...

I love the cover, thanks for sharing :)

lildevilgirl22 said...

I like the plot it sounds complex and emotional.

Calvin F. said...

Awesome book, definitely will
check out

Nancy P said...

Intriguing cover

Dale Wilken said...

Sounds really great.

Anonymous said...

My teenage granddaughters would love to read this.

Bea LaRocca said...

Lovely cover and an intriguing excerpt. This sounds like a good read. Thank you so much for the guest post and giveaway!

Rose-Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie P said...

This book sounds like an awesome read.

Linda Romer said...

Looking forward to reading Evoke! Thank you

wendy Hutton said...

thanks this book sounds very interesting

Bernie Wallace said...

I like the girls dress on the cover. I hope that your book is a success. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Angela Saver said...

Wow! This sounds great and I'm looking forward to reading more!