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Friday, August 15, 2014

Forget Me Not by Shawn Martin: Interview & Giveaway

Forget Me Not
Shadowflesh Series, Book 2
Shawn Martin

Genre:  Young Adult Paranormal

Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing

Date of Publication:  March 31, 2014

ISBN:  0989063232

Number of pages:  308
Word Count: 73,500

Cover Artist:  Elaina Lee

Book Description:

Fortune has smiled on seventeen year old Aileen McCormick ever since Addison came back into her life, giving her the love she has so desperately longed for.  That is, until a mysterious man slithers across her path and slips a spellbinding cameo around her neck.  The cameo holds more than just the image of an enchantress who hungers for souls.  It possesses a curse that strangles away every memory Aileen has of Addison.

Addison, a three hundred year old fugitive from the netherworld, recognizes the wretched woman inside the cameo and the curse she has cast on his unsuspecting love.  The enchanted cameo has but one purpose:  to torment Aileen with hints of love she can no longer recall.   

Aileen cannot escape the deadly cameo.  She runs for her life with the curse only a breath away.  If she truly wants her memory back, the enchantress is all too willing to restore it.  It will cost her, though.  Cost her everything.

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Chapter 1

I couldn’t remember the last time I had been afraid of the dark.  It seemed like a lifetime ago, when shadows and demons consumed me at night, when the end of the world was but a breath away.  That was all before I met Addison.
From the very moment I literally fell into his arms, I had fallen hopelessly in love with him.  Hopelessly, carelessly, eternally in love with him.  And he loved me back.
Addison Wake had become my entire life, my reason for living.  I breathed in his love and exhaled his name.  My heart beat a passionate rhythm to which only he marched.  He danced into my dreams, stealing me away into the stars at the witching hour.  Since he had come back to me we had been inseparable.
The last amber leaves of autumn waved goodbye to the worst and best year of my life.  The year I lost my home, my friends, everything I thought I needed to live.  The year I discovered a grandmother I hardly knew.  The year I found new friends.  The year I fell in love.
The calendar gloated that Christmas was less than a month away, but who cared?  I looked forward to the first day of winter.  Or rather the longest night of the year.  Ever since finding out Santa was just a figment of my parents’ imagination, I didn’t have much use for the yuletide.  But I had always loved that long and wonderful night.  Addison had already set a date for that night, promising to take me to an air show in the day and onto the rooftop at night to teach me the constellations.
It was kind of embarrassing, but I had never really learned the stars.  Sure, I could spot the Big Dipper and hardly ever mistook the moon for a comet.  But that was the extent of my celestial knowledge.  Most of my time had been spent looking down rather than up, and I regretted that.  Just one more regret in the long list I had been working on in my seventeen years.  But all that was changing, and Addison was helping me one regret at a time.
To say I appreciated everything he had done for me would be an understatement.  He taught me how to drive a stick.  He trusted me with his deepest, darkest secrets.  He saved my life.  He fell in love with me, maybe even more than I had fallen in love with him.  If that was possible.
Mere words could do no justice for how I felt about Addison.  But that didn’t stop me from trying to tell him, or show him.  I poured my heart out into haiku almost daily.  I swirled his initials into the thighs of my worn jeans in three colors of permanent ink.  I learned to say “I love you” in twenty-one languages.
My most recent declaration of love cost me an entire paycheck.  I purchased a star.  Not the Hollywood kind starlets walked across in stilettos.  An actual star, in outer space, where no man has boldly gone before.
Bonnie Fay and Nicola had completely different reactions when I confessed what I had done.  Bonnie Fay wrinkled her nose and squinted at me, forcing the kind of smile that told me I was lame.  “Sounds kinda hokey,” she had said in her southern drawl.  “Sugar, if you’re gonna tease him with something he can’t have, don’t let it be a star.”
Nicola, the polar opposite to everything calm and conforming, had a completely different reaction.  She ached a sigh, crossed her hands over her heart, and fell backwards onto my bed.  “That is just so…”  She took a breath and clicked the heals of her combat boots.  I prayed she’d say something other than “hokey.”  “So… romantic.”  Then she wiped away a hint of her sentimentality before it had the chance to smear her dark eye make-up.  She had spent too long applying deadly Goth to have it ruined by a girly tear.
Yes, I bought my boyfriend a star.  It was a little star – I didn’t make that much money – cleverly hidden in the Scorpius constellation.  The website informed me the little speck could be seen near the horizon using a telescope the size of a small skyscraper.  But the heavenly body, now and forever known as “Addison Wake,” was indeed there.  It was my gift to him, a little piece of eternity that would smile down upon us every night until the stars all went out.
Okay, it was a little hokey.
But what could I have given to Addison Wake?  He wasn’t exactly like the other boys at Redcliff High.  To be perfectly clear, he was nothing at all like anyone on this mortal world.  Addison was a phantom, a fugitive from the netherworld, casually walking among the living as shadowflesh.  He willed his dark, mysterious ether into the tall, lean embodiment of perfection.  An immortal soul, yet vulnerable shadowflesh.
And no, I didn’t need my head examined… or maybe I did.
Addison was completely wrong for me, completely wrong for any living, breathing girl who had a fondness for staying alive.  The more I knew we shouldn’t be together, the more I was drawn to him.  Like a knot, the harder a person tried to pull it apart the tighter it got.
To show my love for Addison, I had to think of something as unique, something as ageless as he.  Haiku hadn’t cut it.  And it wasn’t like I could burn him a CD of my favorite music and expect it to mean anything in a year, or a decade, or a century.  But a star, it would be forever.
And when that long and wonderful night finally came and Addison showed me the constellations, I would surprise him with his star, pointing to the part of the sky where the tiny speck was supposed to be.
I had no idea how he would react.  Maybe he’d shrug or look at me as if I had lost my mind.  Or maybe he’d arch one eyebrow higher than the other over his smoky blue eyes and kiss me.  It would be cold, December nights get that way, so he would undoubtedly drape his leather flight jacket over my shoulders and wrap me in his strong arms, and I would kiss him back like I had never kissed him before, like I would never kiss him again.  And perhaps that would be the night.  The night.

I no longer feared the darkness.  As a matter of fact, I looked forward it.  The longest, darkest night of the year waited for me, and that should have been my happily ever after.  But fate can be a funny, cruel thing.

About the Author:

Shawn Martin calls Springfield, Missouri, home.  After graduating from Missouri State University with majors in Economics and Political Science, he bounced around the Midwest only to end up right where he started.

His day (and night) job is being a firefighter.  Aside from rescuing cats in trees and removing burnt pot roasts from ovens, he spends his time finding the hardest way to do the simplest of things.  The rest of his time is spent weaving words into another installment in the Shadowflesh Series.  Visit www.shadowflesh.com for a look into the author and his work.

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Please welcome Forget Me Not author Shawn Martin to Diane's Book Blog.

What is your favorite part of the story, Forget Me Not?

In Forget Me Not, the second book in the Shadowflesh series, I really took great pleasure in the scene where Addison and Aileen are alone on an island under the stars.  Addison feels as if Aileen has betrayed him, and Aileen still can't exactly remember who Addison is.  He points to a constellation and tells her it's Corvus, the raven who told Apollo of his lover's betrayal. 

The scene came to me serendipitously.  I wanted to more than tie the story together; I wanted to weave it together.  You'll read in Forget Me Not that there are several references to the darkest, most mystical bird of them all—ravens.  And all those references seemed to come together in that one scene.  Ahhh!

How long did it take you to write (name of book)?
If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?

If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?

Nicola.  She's a girl who doesn't conform to society because, quite frankly, she and society aren't really on speaking terms.  Nicola is tough, covering herself in black, and refuses to let anyone see her vulnerable side with the exception of her closest friends.  Nicola listens to the sad sounds of coffee house rock and reads Jack Kerouac, trying to find the workings of the universe in both.  She and I have a lot in common.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, Shadowflesh, kind of fell out the darkness and into my lap.  It originated from a made-up ghost story that really didn't have much of a beginning or much of an end.  Just a middle.  Following an injury where I was laid up in bed for a while, I decided to commit the story to paper.  In no time, I pulled the beginning and the end from the depths of my imagination, and I even added healthy dose of vitality to the middle.  In a matter of months, I had completed my first novel, inspired by the solitude of an injury.

What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
What books have most influenced your life?
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

What is your typical day like?   

Few of my days are ever what I'd call typical.  But for me, I suppose diversity is par for the course.  Let me pick a day—or rather two days—at random to tell you about.  After jumping out of bed, I put in a light jog, eat a lighter breakfast, and jump into the shower.  It's time for work.  In addition to being a writer, I am also a firefighter.  It keeps things interesting.  When I report to my fire station, I spend the next twenty-four hours training, responding to emergencies, or simply standing by for that big fire to come roaring in.  At the end of my shift, I suck down a pot of coffee, get in a quick workout, and find my way to the keyboard to add a few pages to the next installment in the Shadowflesh series.  This is actually something new, writing during daylight hours.  So far, so good.  As afternoon hits, I usually don't find things to do; I let them find me, whether it's friends or activities.  Then night comes, and I find my way back to the story at hand.  My mind is free during those hours, free to wander in my story's world.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Your imagination is something that science can neither measure nor see.  It's a mystery, really.  It dwells within your mind, but often takes that spiral staircase down to your heart.  Your imagination is alive, and in order to thrive (like most living things) needs to be fed and see the light of day and allowed to roam free.  Never let your imagination starve or wither, and the best way to do that is by picking up a book and consuming every word.

A big thanks to Diane's Book Blog.  It's been a lot of fun, and I look forward to reading some of your reviews of Forget Me Not.


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