1. THE HAUNT OF THIRTEEN CURVES was inspired by a haunting legend. I found inspiration to write the paranormal tale while tagging along with my husband, a local historian, when he visited cemeteries and local history sites. Over the years I heard accounts of suspicious happenings on the thirteen curves. Most of them involved a wandering ghost bride and kids with video cameras looking for a scary encounter.
2. My Scandinavian heritage finds a way into all of my stories. The abandoned Asgard Armory atop the thirteen curves is modeled after Valhalla, the castle in the sky. The roving bride who wanders the curves looking to collect “fallen soldiers” is inspired by the Valkyrie. Throughout the novel I use pieces of Norwegian folklore and mythology.
3. The heroine in THE HAUNT OF THIRTEEN CURVES is Marcella Jackoby. She’s named after a town called Marcellus in Central New York where the real thirteen curves can be found.
4. Writing about first love is my specialty and my passion. THE HAUNT OF THIRTEEN CURVES would not be a true young adult romance without the building anticipation, the tension, the butterflies…and the mind-blowing first kiss.
5. I’ve always wanted to write a character with an eye patch. THE HAUNT OF THIRTEEN CURVES gave me the opportunity to bring in a boy named Loring with a unique backstory. Despite his eye decoration, he’s well-suited to rival Elias Hawk, the main love interest, for Marcella’s attention.
Release date: July 7th 2014
"In the armory, things can be convincing and impossible. Just like Elias."
Seventeen-year-old Marcella Jackoby’s bleak reality is altered when she encounters the apparition of a grieving bride wandering the deadly thirteen curves outside of Pennywright. Intent on capturing Marcella, the bride seeks to populate a mythical castle disguised as an abandoned armory, where young guests tirelessly battle an alliance of recluses in order to live with the promise of eternal youth and love.
Unaware of Elias Hawk’s efforts to safeguard her from untimely death, and in spite of the fact that he and the kids residing at the armory are not what they appear to be, Marcella falls for this enigmatic young man. As she uncovers Elias’s century-old secret, Marcella’s home life crumbles and an encounter with a roughneck adversary threatens her budding relationship and the existence of the armory’s residents, unintentionally leading Marcella to ignite war between the worlds, endangering the couple’s future in a shocking twist of fate.
A tall boy breezes in. A set of louvered doors flaps back and forth like angry butterfly wings.
“We’re not looking to expand,” he addresses the dinner party in a curt tone, wielding a knife and a loaf of steaming bread. The plates and cutlery on the table jump when he drops the bread and then slices it with precision. Nobody acknowledges the knife lifting dramatically in the air. Only Marcella holds her breath.
The hairs on her neck straighten as if she’s been zapped by an electric current. The air has transformed around her. An unsettling energy passes through her and collectively awakens every nerve, muscle and cell in her body. Who’s this boy no one else notices?
“Aren’t you hungry?” Nissa turns to Marcella and gives her a labored expression. She taps Marcella’s plate with her glass of milk.
Marcella finds it strange that these kids aren’t devouring hamburgers or pizza or soda. She whispers, “No. I think I’m going to be sick.”
The tall boy with the knife is now walking around the table in slow motion, his hands behind his back, a plaid shirt tied around his waist. His brows are furrowed, and Marcella is aware that he’s subtly checking her out.
The skin behind her ears prickles. She’s reluctant to move at all. The boy makes her uneasy. The force strengthens as he closes the space between them.
“Ignore him,” Vernie says and bumps Marcella’s shoulder. “That high horse does this every time we eat. Have a bite. Then he’ll go away.”
Marcella notices the boy scrutinizing the dishes on the table. Her nerves ratchet. If someone could read her thoughts, they’d laugh. She can’t help feeling the boy is irritated with her. Like his comment was intended for her.
Still, she’s not sure she wants him to go away so soon.
When he gets to the side of the table where Vernie, Marcella and Nissa are sitting, he stops at Vernie’s back where her chestnut-colored braid is twisted into a fancy bun.
Marcella glances at the floor and sees his slippers. She gulps as the realization hits her.
“Be nice,” Vernie hisses at the boy. She gasps when he slaps his knife down on the table in front of her full plate.
“I’ll clue you in. That’s Mammoth Red Rock cabbage with Gala apple slices. Snapped the neck right off that turkey myself. Dig in already,” he says with a hint of brag and a hint of irritation that she hasn’t eaten much because her tongue has been running. The boy’s voice is deep, yet youthful.
Marcella blushes when he speaks. The blood filling her cheeks is painful. Her stomach is so mixed up she can’t eat to save her own life. With hopes he won’t address her empty plate, the damage she caused in his room, she tries to appear invisible. But she can never be invisible. She’s more obvious surrounded by her peers than the sun shining in a cloudless sky.
The boy continues on his loop around the feast. He’s not the older man Marcella took him for. He’s Elias Hawk—a boy who’s merely the ripe old age of nineteen.