1. What is the title of your book?
Shades of Summer, The Haunting Ruby Series Book One
2. What is the genre and age rating?
Young adult paranormal romance
3. Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.
Ruby Matthews is a 17 year old girl who is haunted, both literally and figuratively, by the past as she tries to move forward after a tragic loss. She meets the boy of her dreams at what feels like the worst possible time.
4. Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?
The first three books in the series are currently available and I am working on the final installment. I wanted to do one book for each season of the year. Each season corresponds directly with the direction Ruby’s life is taking her.
5. Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.
Ruby is slightly mysterious. She has black hair with one red streak. Her hair is naturally curly but she straightens it every day to try to look more ‘normal’. She is average height, thin build with pretty hazel eyes. She sees herself as plain but that isn’t how the world sees her.
6. What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?
Ruby has a problem with lying. Her lies aren’t malicious but they always tend to bite her in the behind. She lies because she’s afraid of what other people will think about her and her slightly odd ways.
I opened my mouth to tell my dad what I just experienced. “Dad the light just….” When my brain caught up with my mouth, I shut it pretty fast. If I told him what I thought just happened, he would think I was crazy, right? He threatened to send me to a psychiatrist about a thousand different times over the past year, but I was always able to pull my act together long enough for him to change his mind. This time, I wouldn’t just sound depressed, I would sound insane. There would be no talking my way out of this one. So I lied.
7. What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?
Ruby’s best quality is her willingness to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of someone she loves.
I knew he was trying to be nice, but he wanted to go check on Rachel and I couldn’t ask him to wait for me. “Zach, go find Rachel—I’ll stay here until you get back.”
He opened his mouth as though to speak, but no words came out.
“I’ll be fine—you said it yourself, the storm’s over. I’ll find Coco and then wait for you upstairs. Go find your sister. I know you’ll be sick with worry until you know she’s safe.”
I knew it was a tough choice for him. But who needed him most—Rachel or me? I watched as he mulled it over in his head.
“Are you sure? I hate to leave you here alone even on a good day. If something happens, you won’t even be able to call me.”
“Nothing will happen. Just go!” There wasn’t a single worry in my mind that I would be anything but perfectly safe.
“Alright. Just find her and get out of this basement. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He hugged me close and gave me an extra squeeze. “Be careful.”
“You, too.” I watched as he closed the door behind him. It was only after he was on the other side of it that I started to change my mind.
8. Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?
Ruby’s romantic interest is Zach Mason. Something happens the first time they meet that simply takes both of their breaths away. Their relationship is intense in so many different ways. Paranormal activity forces Ruby to keep him at arm’s length. She is afraid that Zach will leave her when he finds out the truth about her, so she tries to spare herself that pain by keeping him at a distance.
9. Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.
Zach Mason is the exact opposite of Ruby on the outside. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and an athletic build. He has a smile that would melt anyone’s heart. Ruby swears that there isn’t a female of any species that wouldn’t find him irresistible. She’s right.
10. Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
Rachel Mason. Rachel is Zach’s twin sister and Ruby’s new best friend. I like Rachel because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She tends to say funny things when you least expect it.
11. Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?
Every character has at least a small piece of someone I have known.
12. Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…
I jerked away from the table, nearly burning myself on a candle in the process. We took one look at each other. One thing was clear. We needed to get out of there.
One by one, the candles extinguished themselves around the circle, wispy trails of smoke drifting up in their wake. Another flash of lightning lit the room and I saw that we were not alone in the attic. A dark shadow hovered closely behind Rachel.
“It’s behind you!” I reached out frantically to pull her away but it was too late. The entity rocketed forward and dove straight into her.
Rachel’s eyes flew wide and her face contorted into a vision of agony. I watched helplessly as she doubled over and the shadow figure forced itself out through her stomach and disappeared. She crumpled to the floor lifelessly.
“No! Rachel!” I rushed to her side, afraid of what I was going to find. I grabbed for her wrist and felt a weak pulse. I breathed a sigh of relief—I couldn’t be responsible for another death!
“Rachel! You have to wake up! We have to get out of here!” I took her by the shoulders and shook her hard but she bobbled limply like a rag doll.
I sunk to the floor beside her and cried. A thundering crash resonated behind me. And then another. And another. I opened my eyes to see my books flying off of the shelf one at a time and hurtling across the room. I had to get us both out of there.
I was too weak to carry her so I gripped her by the ankles and dragged her toward the door, book bombs exploding around us as I went. Suddenly, a weak groan rose from her throat.
“Rachel, we have to get out of here! You need to get up—now!” I slapped her sharply across the face. It always seemed to work in the movies—it was worth a try.
“Ruby?! Why are you slapping me?” Rachel opened her eyes slowly. “Where are we?”
I could tell when the initial confusion wore off because a look of mortal terror replaced it.
Just then, the door flung open and a looming figure appeared in the doorway. A piercing scream escaped my throat as it seized me around the waist and pulled me toward it.