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Birch Harbor Series, Book 2
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 86,000
Cover Artist: Kristen Selleck
College sophomore Chloe Adams returns to Birch Harbor determined to find the remnants of the secret society known as Abraham's Men.
Yet, the only clues she has are the words 'find Ian Rose' and a strange coded journal that once belonged to her father.
No longer able to hear the voices that have plagued her for most of her life, and finally having the loving home she has always dreamed of, Chloe struggles to define what she wants--
Until fate and her mentor conspire to offer her the chance to discover the truth.
Unfortunately, the truth might kill her.
Kristen Selleck's Guest Post
The Silent Character
By Kristen Selleck
“Detroit is a fairy tale city?” Seth laughed.
“Stop! It is kind of. Fairy tales aren’t all happy, shiny, and bright until Disney gets a hold of them. They’re a little dark really. They’re a little scary. You’re not really sure that there’s going to be a happily ever after. The wolf actually does eat Grandma. He eats Red Riding Hood too, and the woodcutter has to slit his belly open with an axe to get them out. That’s dark and bloody and kind of twisted, but still magical. They come out of a wolf’s belly unharmed, they eat goodies. Detroit is funny like that. It’s kind of dark and decaying and feels dangerous and gritty. It has these beautiful gothic-looking buildings dying on the pavement, and the streets seem empty…but… but you have this feeling like at any moment people might come back. They might run into the buildings and turn all the lights on, open the windows, hang flowers, vines will grow up through the cracks in the sidewalk and cover the rot and it could be beautiful again and happy. If there was still magic in the world somewhere, this is where it would come.”
“You’re an optimist,” he smiled.
-from Abraham’s Men by Kristen Selleck
I grew up in the suburbs outside of Detroit. When I was little, it was considered a special treat to go to the city. We would watch the Tigers at the old stadium, or ride the People Mover to Joe Louis Arena and see the Icecapades. Every year we went to Cobo Hall to see the auto show, and on one memorable evening, my parents took me to the Fox Theater to see Cats. I felt very glamorous to be ten years old, wearing my Christmas dress, and walking into the beautiful old theater at night--way past my bedtime!
Detroit seemed like the center of the universe to me. It was scary when I overheard adults say things like, “Detroit is dying” or “It isn’t even safe to walk around there in the daytime!” Of course I noticed that there weren’t a lot of people walking around, like when you’d see New York or Chicago on TV, and many of the buildings were obviously abandoned. In my memories, Detroit is a city in greyscale –cold and perpetually overcast. Yet at the same time, I can remember thinking that it was just like the castle in the story Sleeping Beauty, somebody had only put it to sleep. Detroit is only briefly mentioned in my second book, Abraham’s Men, but I hope it was done in a way that will cause readers to see it as I do. The city was so much a part of my young life, it seemed to have a personality of its own.
When I set out to write the Birch Harbor Series, I knew that it would have to be set in Michigan, because the setting of a novel can become a character onto itself. It had to be one I knew well and loved. I chose the Upper Peninsula, because it allowed for just the right amount of alienation. In the first book of the series, Asylum, various references are made to things that are distinct to the U.P. --pasties, the northern lights, the early winter, the black flies, the mom -n-pop restaurants that are identified by signs like “Eat” or “Good Food”. I tried hard to evoke the images for readers that I could see in my head--the color of the water around Pictured Rocks, or an army of red pines lining either side of a two-laned highway.
After the release, I received emails from people who had read the book and lived in the U.P., asking which town I had based Birch Harbor off of, or where exactly it would be on the map. That was a good feeling, but it was even better when someone wrote a review saying that Michigan’s upper peninsula was now on their list of places they wanted to visit!
Setting is important. Whether you’re reading a detective novel that’s played out on the streets of Chicago, or a teenage love story with sparkly vampires set in the verdant pacific northwest, it’s often what gives the story a realistic feel. Real places can be a point of connection to the story for fans, and well-written imaginary settings can become as familiar as a weekend cabin. Setting is the silent character that can make the difference between a good read, and a great book.
Here’s a list of my top ten favorite ‘silent characters’ (If I’ve neglected to mention anyone’s favorite setting, let us know in the comments!):
1. Hogwarts- the Harry Potter Series (This place seemed so real to readers that they recreated it at Univeral Studios, Florida, knowing that people would come in droves to see it!)
2. Wonderland – Alice in Wonderland
3. Dublin – Ulysses
4. The Mississippi River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain had his setting down pat!)
5. 1920s North Shore, Long Island – The Great Gatsby (fictionalized as ‘east and west egg’)
6. Wuthering Heights – Wuthering Heights (One can almost feel the alienation of the home out on the ‘wild and windy moors’. )
7. The Old South – Gone with the Wind
8. 1930s Moscow- The Master and Margarita
9. Middle Earth – the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The place may be imaginary, but it has maps and languages. I found myself consulting them at times!)
10. Oceania – 1984
About The Author
Kristen Selleck is avidly evil. Until recently, she worked as a mad scientist. After several diabolical attempts at world domination proved unsuccessful (most notably, building an army of robots from used pipettes, empty reagent boxes, and other things left lying around the lab), she decided to pick up the pen. She used the pen to poke an annoying lady at the gas station in the eyeball. Then she decided to write.
She has been known to speak with a strong Russian accent. This is inexplicable due to the fact that she was born in Detroit. It has also been documented that she likes vodka, roller coasters, things which are purple, and blowing things up with dry ice. She abhors kittens, wood paneling popularized in the 1970's, and her arch-nemesis Jimmy (the Evil Overlord of Specimen Processing). She was last known to reside in Grand Rapids, and may be in the company of two evil apprentices, and her devoted henchman, Shad. If seen, please contact the FBI immediately (she owes someone in Accounting a sandwich).