7 Tips to Ace Your School Author Visit

April has seen Aussie Owned and Read talk about all things marketing. So far, the focus has been on online marketing strategies, but today I’d like to take a look at a face-to-face strategy particularly useful for YA authors – school visits.

IMG_3261 by Kian McKellar via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/qzBhBH

Image by Kian McKellar Flickr CC

“Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing there is”

In my role as a high-school teacher librarian I have been lucky enough to attend numerous school author visits. Authors LOVE to talk about their books, BUT there’s no quicker way to send a class of teens into a coma than to wax lyrical about every detail of your publication journey and current book baby. There’s a good chance most of your audience haven’t even read your book, so your mission is to make your story sparkle brighter than Edward Cullen on a cloudless midsummer scorcher and give them good reason to give up six to nine hours of watching funny cat videos on YouTube to want to read it.

So, how do you grab their attention, you ask?

Make connections. Establishing a relevant context for students by drawing connections between your experience and the students’ can leave them with a more rewarding experience. Try these ideas:

1. Tie into the syllabus content covered in class. Speak to the group’s teachers / teacher librarian before the visit and ask about the units the class is currently studying in different subjects. You’d be surprised where you can find crossover content to help make your novel’s subject matter relevant. English, yes, but also, History, Science, PDHPE.

2. Talk about your research. High school students are familiar with different research strategies for school assignments. Ask about their surprising / funny / unexpected research experiences then tell them about yours:

  • How did you go about your research?
  • Did you go anywhere special?
  • Did you meet / interview anyone in particular?

A visiting author I once saw had a hall of ninth graders in the palm of her hand when she told them about the time she was set on fire (under controlled conditions!) in the name of research.

3. Unpack the revision process. Talking about the evolution of your manuscript and all the challenges along the way can be effective if discussed in the context of the students’ creative writing.

  • Bring visuals of marked up pages – scrawls and scribbles of red by you and suggestions by your editor.
  • Show students the different stages of editing, allowing them to see all the work that goes into the finished product. If nothing else, the English staff will love you, because you’ve vindicated them in their constant mantra of ‘writing is re-writing’.

Image by Laura Ritchie via Flickr CC

Now, all this talking is fine and good, but to make your author visit a success you’ll need to balance your gabbing with something else, namely …

Less words, more action. One repeated negative piece of feedback I hear from students and teachers is that the author spent most of the session talking at them. To mitigate your audience tuning out, try the following:

4. Break up your presentation into segments. Five to ten minute segments are best, each with a different focus but with clear transitions linking one to the next.

5. ‘Activity’ is king. Involve your audience as much as possible!

  • Got a YA fantasy involving martial arts? Have students learn some basic martial arts moves.
  • Got a YA contemporary featuring dance? Get the kids grooving with a ten second dance routine.
  • No martial arts or dancing in your novel? No problem. Pick a bunch of students to act out a short scene from your book while you read out the excerpt.

Anything that involves the audience will make for a better experience. Even something as simple as …

Props and visuals. Everyone has a dominant learning style, be it visual, kinesthetic or auditory, so it’s good to include visual and hands-on material in your author talk, such as:

6. Slide-shows.

  • If you’re reading out a passage from your novel, have a slide-show ready to help set the mood or introduce the physical setting.
  • You could show pictures (hello Pinterest!) of your ‘cast’ of characters using actors.
  • Share images or video related to your research – people, places, activities.

7. Relevant props.

  • So your novel features martial arts, but your attempt at a roundhouse kick is likely to land you in emergency? Bring in a mannequin dressed in a dobok instead and show some video footage you came across during your research.
  • Is your novel a YA historical? Try to source some replica artefacts linked to your story that students can touch and examine.

The idea is to bring alive aspects of your story world to spark your audience’s interest.

Black Beauty by Carol VanHook

Image by Carol VanHook Flickr CC

If you include props and visual media, make sure your audience has plenty of opportunity to be involved, and you draw connections between your writing and their experience, you’re set for a successful author visit.

But how exactly is one successful author visit a marketing tool, you ask? Teachers and teacher librarians have wide reaching professional networks and word of mouth is the best kind of marketing there is. One successful author visit will likely result in invites from other schools.

Let us know what has and hasn’t worked for you when visiting schools. Leave your comments below.


Kat Colmer AuthorKat Colmer is a Young and New Adult author and high-school teacher librarian who writes coming-of-age stories with humour and heart. She lives with her husband and two children in Sydney, Australia. Her debut YA is due out with ENTANGLED TEEN in August 2017. Learn more on her website, or come say hi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Marketing and the Potato

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As we’re talking about marketing this month, Rebecca and Heather are going to look at what different mediums have done to successfully gain viral attention. In doing so, we will break down what it was about these marketing ideas that we found so memorable, and look at how they would translate to literary world.

We’ve broken these marketing ploys down into four key areas.

curiosity

Curiosity

These were the ideas that piqued the interest of the target audience by withholding information. By only providing part of the picture, the consumers were left searching for more pieces of the puzzle which generated hype and global reach across social media.

Cards Against Humanity’s 30 second Super Bowl ad that was a single shot of a potato with the word ‘Advertisement’ etched into it. It sent Twitter into a frenzy as people tried to decipher what it was about.

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Yes this is the real ad

The Matrix and u: hygiene products used a similar concept. The Matrix advertising posed a single question–‘What is the Matrix?’ and had a site set up devoted to the furthering the riddle.

 

Every question needs an answer.

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The VIP Experience

Making your consumer feel extra special is a great promotional tool and can create lifetime loyal followers. Everyone loves exclusivity, we all want to be a part of that little club. As a whole, people have the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality, we all want more, and when given the opportunity to get something extra that no one else has, we more often than not jump at that chance. So using this main trait to your marketing advantage would be wise.

For example, Skyrim offered up free games for life, but the catch was you had to name your baby that happened to be born on the games release day the main protagonists name… Dovahkiin. You didn’t need to be one of the two people who actually went ahead and won this prize to be drawn to the weirdness of it.

You don’t have to offer up anything this dramatic, limited editions, and VIP tickets are also great draws, with youtube unboxing a few simple extras thrown in with your advanced copy can be the star of the show.

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Interactive

Get people involved. Get them out looking, talking, generating excitement. Your audience are the ones who can get word of mouth happening in a big way and usually drive awareness the most.

A great example of this was Bioshock 2s launch when they created ten promotional images and hid them in wine bottles. These bottle were placed on ten random beaches worldwide with clues for their fandom on where to find them. Kind of like what Willie Wonka did with his golden tickets.

You could do something as simple as a blog post scavenger hunt with a prize for the winner. Facebook launch parties get the word out there, and Instagram is a good tool to get people taking pictures with your book on launch day.

Resident Evil utilised a gruesome scavenger hunt where the winner would receive a trip to Africa. Which leads us into our next point.

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Shock Value (Trigger Warning for extreme gore)

Resident Evil rules shock value. Shocking your consumer either works for or against you, but either way it generates conversation.

With the scavenger hunt, body parts were scattered around Trafalgar Square in London. This gained media attention, and freaked out the onlookers who weren’t involved in the stunt.

Resident Evil 6 went a step further with a butcher’s shop in London’s famous meat-market Smithfield, selling ‘human meat’. The proceeds of these sales went to the Limbless Associate, a U.K. charity for amputees and other who have lost limbs.

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Now, obviously you don’t need to go to these extremes, but pushing the envelope so your marketing ideas go against the grain of what society deems ‘acceptable’ or ‘expected’ is one way to get people talking.

The most important part of marketing is to be memorable.

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Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

 

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In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

King’s Cage is book three in the Red Queen series.

Okay, so for some reason this series seems to be getting a lot of hate, and as soon as there’s hate, people get nit-picky and shred every aspect of the book.

For my reviews, I base them solely around whether the author kept me entertained. Did they do their job and help me escape the real world? Yes? Automatically at least three stars. The other two stars are made up by taking a deeper look at a combination of character, pacing, and plot.

I don’t believe this book deserves the one- and two-star ratings it has been getting but art is subjective and everyone has the right to an opinion. This is simply mine.

I loved King’s Cage. Mare is such as easy character to sympathise with because she is driven and has agency. She spends a lot of this book locked up as Maven’s—what? Toy, maybe?—and while that could have gotten old fast, Aveyard really amped up the tension between them in a way that keeps interest. She’s also grown a lot as a character. There is less brashness and more calculation and planning. I also loved when she realized what a dick she had been to people in the previous book.

As always, the secondary characters are on point. Evangeline is one of those characters I love to hate and she did not disappoint. There is a lot of character growth for her also, and it is easy to see her being the hero of her own story, despite how much her story opposes Mare’s.

Cal is still a hunk, and Maven is still a twisted lunatic who was absolutely addictive to read.

I with there had been more Kilorn, and I really could have done without Cameron’s chapters—I didn’t even remember who she was to begin with so by the time I figured it out, I really didn’t care.

And while they’re still knee-deep in rebellion, Aveyard has added even more depth to the struggle for Norta, which I won’t spoil here, but has the potential for her to take book four in literally any direction.

My favourite parts of all these books are the battle scenes, and the scenes with Mare and Cal. So it makes sense that when her and Cal finally reunite in the midst of a huge fight, I was cheering them on for days.

This book is on the long side for YA fiction and thankfully keeps the pace throughout. There are no areas that felt boring or stale and I loved how one scene propelled you on to the next. After Mare escapes Maven though, it kind of felt like the rest of the book was all epilogue, getting ready to set up the next book. I mean, there were some great scenes in there and I still loved reading it, but the highlight of the book was definitely Mare’s escape.

I totally recommend this book.

 

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Heather is rep’d by Carrie Howland of Empire Literary

Interviewing Kat Colmer

We’ve been interviewing each other here at AO&R so you can get to know us a bit better. The final instalment in this series, I get to interview Kat Calmer.

You write across a few categories, tell us a bit about what it’s like to shift between them.

I never set out to write across several categories. I simply wrote the stories that wanted to be written at the time. I’ve dipped my pen into middle grade, young adult, new adult and adult ink pots across both the contemporary and paranormal genres. The common thread running throughout all my writing, however, is a voice that leans towards humour and a desire to infuse an underlying message of hope even when touching on serious topics.
You have a MG story that’s close to home, what was it like to write something so personally inspired?

Change of Heart was inspired by my firstborn child’s emergency cardiac surgery. Now almost fifteen years old, my son was born with a heart condition requiring him to have open heart surgery at birth, followed by a second surgery at age ten. Stressful times, the first surgery in particular as it entailed a three-month emotional rollercoaster ride in paediatric intensive care.

Unlike the first surgery, the second was planned and therefore a little easier (just) for everyone involved to cope with. It was sitting by my son’s hospital bed, inhaling the unique scent of hospital bleach mixed with hand sanitizer, all the beeps and dings of medication pumps providing my daily soundtrack as they kept my child alive, that inspired me to write a middle grade tale of a cardiac kid. Writing something so personal was both difficult as well as cathartic. The story was published by the New South Wales School magazine ‘Touchdown’ in 2015, and I honestly think it was the emotion unlocked by the underlying experience that saw it picked up for print.
You got a book coming out with Entangled Teen soon(ish). *leans in close* Tell us more!

My YA paranormal romance is about eighteen-year-old ‘master of the meaningless hook-up’ Jonas Leander who discovers he is cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. At first he figures it’s a revenge prank by a disgruntled ex (he’s got enough of them), but when an impulsive kiss between him and long-time friend, Cora, makes her the target of Old Testament demons hell-sent to prevent Jonas from finding true love, the curse becomes dangerously real.

Set against the backdrop of Sydney’s North Shore and Ku-ring-gai National Park, the novel is a fast-paced YA romp involving taekwondo, swinging sickle swords, some award winning kissing, and a Siamese fighting fish called Mr Miyagi. So if you like your YA romance with a touch of the supernatural, a sprinkle of snarky humour and a good dose of action, this novel might just be for you. The release date is August 2017!

What advice would you have for Aussie authors trying to make it with US publishers like Entangled?

For Aussies who might think a story with an Aussie flavour will be too parochial for a US publisher, DON’T! I almost didn’t submit to Entangled for this very reason. I’ve since learnt if the overall story has a wide-reaching appeal, an Australian setting isn’t going to stop it being picked up by a US publisher. And as with any publisher—Australian or otherwise—professionalism as well as a good story are key. Always follow submission guidelines and polish that query letter until it blinds you with its shine.
What are you working on at the moment?

In between edits for my debut, I’m working on the sequel to my YA paranormal. Book 2 is about Jonas’ friend, Leo. Already on the demon hit list because of something he’s done in book 1, things get worse for him when he causes Jonas to be kidnapped by the very hellhounds who are after him, and he agrees to help Beth (Jonas’ sister) plan and execute a rescue.

Rapid fire questions

Plotter or Panster?

Plantser, as in I like to know where I start and where I’m heading as well as the key turning points in between, but everything else is up for grabs.

Unicorns, Griffins or Phoenix?

Unicorns … but this type:

Bad Unicorn

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee. Definitely coffee. Preferably a Katachino. What’s that you ask? A cross between a long black and a cappuccino. I’m a long black fan at heart but love me a bit of chocolaty froth on my coffee. Best of both worlds!

Physical book, eBook or audio?

Physical and eBook depending on my reading environment. Love snuggling up on the couch with a paper book but dig the convenience of an eBook when standing in line somewhere or travelling. Not a fan of audio; I like to dictate my reading pace.

Notepad, typewriter or laptop?

Laptop at home and notepad when out and about. Unless I’m stuck, then I turn for the pen and paper. Something about the feel of a pen moving across the page helps unlock the words.

BioKat Colmer headshot

Kat Colmer is a Young and New Adult author and high-school teacher librarian who writes coming-of-age stories with humour and heart. She lives with her husband and two children in Sydney, Australia. She also sings (occasionally) and speaks German (almost fluently). Her hope is to one day read one of her novels in Deutsch.

Find her on the web|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

 

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Sharon M. Johnston is a YA and NA author from the Sunny Queensland (except for when there’s weather events like Cyclone Debbie). She’s a Pitch Wars mentor and delivers the live Pitch Wars Road Show workshop at writerly events in Australia (and once in Las Vegas). Her Open Heart series is out now with City Owl Press.

Interviewing Stacey Nash

This month here on the blog we’re celebrating having two fabulous new members with a series of interviews and today I’m super lucky to be chatting to Stacey Nash.

Stacey Nash

You’ve written both sci-fi (can I say I adored the Collective books!!) and contemporary – which is your favourite to write and why?

Aww, thanks! The Collective series in many ways was the story of my heart. But, I do love writing both genres and I can’t say that I prefer one over the other. I tend to switch back and forth between the two, depending on whichever takes my fancy.

 

Similarly, do you prefer YA like your sci-fi or NA like the Oxley College series?

There actually isn’t a lot of difference between my NA and my YA. That’s because I write to a sweet heat level (no shown sex scenes) and my young adult characters are in the upper age bracket and my new adult characters are in the lower age bracket. This makes the categories blur and become quite similar.

It’s great to find those sweet stories with characters a bit older and thinking about post-school type issues. 
You’re from the gorgeous Hunter Valley region – how important is where you come from to your writing?

I do love my local area, but I have actually never set a story here. Most of my stories are set or based loosely around other places I’ve lived. I would be lost without the beauty of my surrounds though. It inspires me daily.

I’d love to travel there one day. My only trip was a whirlwind science conference which didn’t give me much time to appreciate scenery.

I got to know you through RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) – how important is the balance of romance in your stories?

RWA has connected me with so many wonderful people. Thanks RWA! Umm, as far as balance goes it’s very important to get right. Too little it doesn’t have the power to pull the reader through the story. Too much and it becomes a yawn-fest of ‘are these characters going to doing anything else but make eyes at other?’ That’s purely my opinion though. As both a reader and as a writer I prefer the romance to be a strong subplot. I always need something a little more adventurous to keep me entertained, but I do need a little love thrown in to make me swoon.

I love a meaty plot too!
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

The first draft is for telling yourself the story. Subsequent drafts are for perfecting it.

Favourite childhood story?

I’m going to complicate this because it depends on what age we’re talking about. During my early years it would have been the BFG, but by the time I was 10 it had changed to Anne of Green Gables (the entire series) and stayed at that until I was around 14 when I discovered Tomorrow When the War Began (again, the entire series).

We seem to have similar tastes. I think TWTWB was a huge influence for me too.
What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few things at the moment. I’m rewriting a YA sci-fi that once again blurs the magic/tech boundaries and I’ve just finished editing another NA contemp with a rural setting.

I can’t wait to read them!
Fast five questions:

Pantser or plotter? Both

Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla

Novella or full-length? Full length

Series or standalone? Series

Day writing or Night? Day

 

BIO:

Writing for the young and new adult market, Stacey’s books are all adventure filled stories with a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and plenty of KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

Her debut novel, FORGET ME NOT was released as a three book series (Collective Series) through HarperCollins Australia during 2014 / 2015. And her Oxley College Saga is out now.

Twitter / Facebook / Website

🙂

Beck

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I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

 

Getting to know Lauren McKellar all over again!

It’s my turn in the interview-go-round, and I hit the jackpot in getting to interview the multi-talented, multi-busy Ms Lauren McKellar. And why not! As one of the creators of this blog, and a genuinely gorgeous person, she’s already a star, but she’s also an author of amazing fiction, an editor  and a new mum of the cutest and most determined distraction ever created – her gorgeous new baby boy.

Mind boggling, right?    That’s exactly what I thought, and though I felt guilty adding to her pressures, I couldn’t wait to see what kept her going. Let’s have a look at what she had to say…Lauren 1

Lauren, you’re a such a busy lady and yet a very prolific author – what drives you each day to keep your career on track?

I just love writing! I always have, ever since I begged my parents to buy me blank lined notebooks when I was seven so I could write my stories down.

Now, with a three-month-old bub, writing time is a little harder to come by, but I find doing something, even just five minutes a day, actually helps keep me sane. It reminds me I’m still me, not just this totally consumed and in love mama!

Welcome to the MamaLove Club! It’s the Never-ending-story! But there’s another love we know about as well. You not only won the cover lottery – aren’t they the coolest covers!! – but your love for YA and NA shows in your beautiful stories . How you would describe the books you write. Is there a common denominator? Conscious or subconscious.

There definitely is! My little tagline is “Romance reads that make you feel”, but to be more specific, I think I write issue-driven pieces. When I was eighteen, my father passed away from cancer, and growing up, I’d always suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem. I think that’s why all my books deal with issues like that that many teens deal with.

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Isn’t it wonderful that, from your own adversities,  you can give faith to others through your books.  And speaking of those books:  Do you have a typical working day? Or a typical process for completing each novel?

My typical process is write the novel, delete it, and write it again. Or that’s how it feels sometimes! I definitely write best when I’m sticking to a daily goal. If I stop writing for a few weeks, I find it harder to get back into.

superwomanWith that in mind – and maybe this is a version of the next-pretty-thing syndrome – but what’s your writing kryptonite? What’s the one thing you avoid when creating? Or that you know might send you off the rails?

I’m pretty cruisy. I don’t know if I have a kryptonite as such—I used to find it hard to write if I was reading a similar genre, but since I’m an editor as well as an author, I often don’t have much choice in what I read! I’ve got to say that if I’m really tired, I find it hard to create—but if I’m really, really tired, I end up writing some pretty okay stuff. Aside from that, my newborn child is kind of like my kryptonite, because keeping him alive requires a lot of work!

What do you consider to be the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Definitely the self-doubt. Constantly questioning yourself and wondering if you’re good enough and if people hate your work.

I saw this question somewhere else and it intrigued me – so I’m posing it to you: What’s the best money you’ve spent as an author? What’s been your most valuable investment?

What a great question! I’m going to say my membership in the RWA. I say this because not only of the inspirational conference sessions I’ve attended, but also the fabulous authors I’ve met and networked with.

Oh, and my laptop. Because der.

Ha! Der indeed. 😉 So, the ugly ‘P’ word. How much time do you set aside to promo and what’s your best advice?

Gosh, promo is hard! I never set aside enough time, and each release I promise myself I’ll do more! In an ideal world I’d do an hour a week. My best advice is to learn from others and find something that works for you. There are so  many free courses out there, and great podcasts and seminars—Self-Publishing Formula 101, to give an example—and I think you can get a lot from those about how to achieve maximum reach for your spend.

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The Talented Lauren McKellar – what does the future hold? Are there other things you secretly want to write? Other genres that call you in the night?  I guess if it wasn’t YA/NA what would it be?

I’ve recently written some adult books, and I’ve really enjoyed my venture into being a grown-up! I can’t see myself ever straying from contemporary though—I have so much respect for everyone who writes spec fic, and historical, but it’s just not for me.

The Private Lauren McKellar – share with us something no one else knows about you? My kidneys are in the wrong place for example. How about you? ☺

Oh, really? That’s very cool! If we’re talking medical anomalies, I have an extra vertebrae in my neck and my elbows hyper-extend. It’s not really a secret, though. I’m pretty open. Secrets aren’t really my thing.

Finally as authors we are also avid readers. You’re stuck on an island with one book – indefinitely. You’ll have to read it over and over. What would you wish it to be?

It’s not YA or NA, but Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes is a book that will always make me laugh and cry—so I figure it’d be a good choice to give me a full spectrum of emotions.

Thank you so much Lauren! It was indeed a pleasure and my only regret is that we don’t have more time and space. I could have chatted for hours!

You can catch all the extra news at:

http://www.laurenkmckellar.com

http://www.laurenkmckellar.com/blog

kaz-profiles-022Kaz Delaney has published 72 novels for kids, teens & adults over a 20 year period, many of them  published in several languages. Thirteen are YA novels and every one features a romance. Her latest is The Reluctant Jillaroo, Allen & Unwin, 2016 .  She is repped by JDM Management.

Review: Into the Mists – Book One of the Into the Mists Trilogy by Serene Conneeley

Enter the swirling mists of an enchanted land, and open your heart to the mystery…

Carlie has the perfect life. A wonderful family and a best friend she adores. A house by the beach so she can go surfing after school. A clever, rational mind and big dreams of becoming a lawyer. A future she’s excited about and can’t wait to begin.

But in a split second her perfect life shatters, and she is sent to the other side of the world to live with a stranger. In this mystical, mist-drenched new land, she is faced with a mystery that will make her question everything she’s ever known about her parents, her life and her very self. A dark secret that made her mother run away from home as a teenager. An old family friend who is not what he seems. A woman in blue who she’s not convinced is real. A shadowy black cat that she’d swear is reading her mind. A deserted old cottage she can’t always find. And a circle of wild-haired witches who want her to join their ranks.

Will she have the courage to journey into the mists, and into her own heart, to discover the truth? And can she somehow weave together a life that she’ll want to live – or will she give up and allow despair to sweep her away from the world forever?

A Melodic tale of loss and a magical journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

This beautiful story follows Carlie as she tries to come to grips with the loss of her parents and the sudden upheaval of her life. Serene has written the tale to include quite detailed descriptions of casts and rituals Carlie and her mother perform. You could easily complete such rituals yourself following the descriptions in the story. The story inspires the reader to look at their own life as the main character Carlie does hers.

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Gabrielle Baker narrates the audio book. Her beautifully calming voice tells the story in a tranquil tone, switching between a few voices slightly with each characters dialogue. She does well with the mix of Australian and English accents, only once or twice did I giggle at her pronunciation of an Aussie word. I listened to the story at 1.3x speed. As a faster reader myself, I felt the original a little slow for me, but the story allows for the increase without feeling rushed.

I loved the backwards and forwards timeline that Serene used to intertwine Carlie and Violet (her mother) stories. Flashbacks, diary entries and dreams are each employed in telling this magical captivating tale.

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When Carlie began to read from the book her mother had owned as a teen, I did not at first realize it was Carlie reading. When reading a physical book you would see the change in script or a detail to show that the character is reading a letter or diary entry of sorts, but when listening to an audio book, the transition wasn’t as easy to keep on top of. This of course did not take away from the story or my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.

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I look forward to reading more of the Into the Mists Trilogy, and if you have not tried an audio book before, click HERE and you can get your first book free. Why not give Into the Mists a chance to captivate you the way it has me.

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Rebecca Bosevski is the author of Enchanting The Fey, a fairy tale for grown-ups. She lives on the sunny coast of Australia with her husband and three children. When not writing she will often be found with her nose in a book.