Isadora Rivers feels trapped. Her small town high school is suffocating her. Another day of wannabe gangsters, dumb jocks, and Barbie clones, and she'll just lose it. Her keen emotional sensitivity is to blame. She sees through all of the poser behavior to the pain and insecurity simmering just below the surface, and it's overwhelming. She feels like she's literally drowning in other people's emotions.Buy It: Amazon
This same sensitivity, however, makes her a great actress. Suffocating or not, her high school is one of the top arts schools in the country. Acting is not only her passion, but it also looks like her way out. If she can just score the lead role in the school play, she might get herself noticed by a Hollywood agent. But she's got a strong reckless streak, and it keeps getting her in trouble and jeopardizing her chances.
Riding her bike at top speed, she swerves in front of a car and nearly gets hit. The driver, Tristan Blake, turns out to be the mysterious new boy at school. He's rebellious, broody, and wise beyond his years. He's also devastatingly gorgeous. From the moment their eyes meet, Isadora is irresistibly drawn to him. But as soon as he enters her life, things go horribly wrong. She begins having disturbing visions full of unimaginable glamour and unbearable darkness. He knows things about her he shouldn't. And he's somehow so familiar. As he at turns pulls her close, and then pushes her away, Isadora feels like her heart is being twisted and torn.
She soon discovers that her whole future is in jeopardy, and her only hope is to stay away from Tristan. But how can she turn away from the only boy she has ever loved? As a harrowing event looms closer, one that threatens to rip apart her psyche, Isadora must reach deep inside herself and find the strength to change her own destiny. But is she strong enough to do it?
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About Ashley, copied from her site:
I believe a good hard laugh is priceless; I'm lucky to have friends with a wicked sense of humor who make me screech with laughter on a daily basis. To me, Fluevogs aren't just shoes; they're artistic masterpieces. I've been obsessed with them since I was sixteen. I wish every day was Halloween for both the costumes and the candy. Brilliant graffiti stumbled upon in an alley aways gives me a thrill; I love the crazed energy of the letters, and the way they burst with psychedelic color. If I could have tea with one fictional character, it would be the Mad Hatter. I can't go a day without a latte or a stunning view of the city. I get my best ideas in bed, curled under a duvet, staring off into space as the early morning light flickers through my bedroom windows. And my favorite saying is, "Nobody can take from me what I've danced."
The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:
Gifted but reckless girl meets broody, mysterious boy. He’s insanely hot, but he’s hiding something big. Still, his pull is irresistible. Sparks fly. Drama ensues.
How did you get the idea for the story?
For me, the story always starts with character. So before the pieces of the plot started to fall into place, I conceived of Isadora, this brilliant, super talented girl, who is equal parts strong and vulnerable. Like a lot of teens, she feels trapped. There are all of these slots she’s supposed to fit into: art freak, nerd, fashion princess…the list goes on. But she’s bigger than all of these categories. So she rebels by doing reckless things. She’s also super sensitive, so she’s able to see past everyone’s poker face, but what she sees below the surface is so heavy that it overwhelms her. Also, she’s at that critical age, where her future is full of possibilities, but things could go either way. Her talent could be nurtured or stifled.
Along comes Tristan, also rebellious, brilliant, and unbelievably sexy. He’s the kind of guy I wish had been around when I was in high school. He’s incredibly perceptive; he picks up on all of Isadora’s issues and challenges her on them. He’s protective, but not patronizing. There’s something dark and dangerous about him, and as soon as he comes into Isadora’s life, her world is turned upside down, but because of this, she is actually able to grow as a person.
I won’t tell you anymore, because I don’t want to give away the story!
Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Funny enough, I would love to have dinner with Tara. First off, I’d be curious to see what crazy outfit she would wear to the meal. Obviously, her orange snakeskin Prada purse would be swinging ostentatiously on her arm, her hair would be freshly bleached, and she’d have on a loud dress, perhaps hot pink, with her cleavage on full display. No doubt the dinner conversation would be provocative. The tension would be palpable as she made venomous, passive-aggressive comments in her breathy voice and did whatever she could to draw attention to herself. Also, she would be liable to say what everyone else wanted to say but didn’t have the nerve to. I mean, talk about entertaining, right? :o)
What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
My absolute favorite classic is Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Talk about imagination. I also love anything by Roald Dahl. I just recently read Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and I really enjoyed her writing style. It’s so lyrical. I still can’t believe she wrote her first draft on her phone while riding the subway. Maggie Stiefvater is another young adult author I adore. Her writing is so poetic it gives me the shivers. I also enjoy the fluid and fast-paced writing of Cassandra Clare.
Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
Well, right now I’m working on the second installment of the Torn series. This one takes place in L.A. It’s steamy, dark, and fast-paced, and Isadora once again gets herself in a whole lot of trouble. Some of the secondary characters, such as Sarah and Tara, are more fully developed in this book. I can’t go into more detail without giving too much away. It should be out by the middle of May. I also have another stand alone YA project in the works, but I’m not ready to give out any details on that one yet.
If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Hands down, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I’d get to grow and shrink at whim, go to a wild tea party with the wackiest host in town, have a conversation with a cat, outwit an evil queen, and slay a jabberwocky, all in a day’s work.
Do you need anything to write (music, coffee etc.) Are there any songs on your playlist – songs that inspired you or that you were playing while you wrote?
A strong coffee is an absolute must. My mind won’t function without it. Also, when I’m brainstorming, I keep different colored metallic pens close at hand. I love the way the ink shimmers in the light, and when I’m creating characters, I tend to assign a color to each: Say, copper for Tristan, silver for Isadora, metallic green for Tara, and so on. Weirdly, whenever I’m feeling blocked, if I pick up one of my metallic pens and just start writing, I get over it quickly and things just start to flow naturally.
For Torn, I found I needed slow, haunting music to get me into the right head space, so I ended up listening to a lot Mazi Star, Cat Power, and even some Adele. Also, I have a few go to anthems for when I get stuck. For instance, when I feel deflated because something isn’t working quite right, I’ll grab my iPod, put on Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, and go nuts dancing around my apartment.
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
The ability to heal people’s emotions wounds. If they suffer a blow to their self-esteem, or get their heart ripped out, I’m there, helping them get through it. It’s not about taking away their pain: they would still need to feel the hurt for themselves, but I’d act as a guardian angel, making sure the experience made them stronger instead of leaving them permanently scarred or devastated.
Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love photography. Whenever I get the chance, I like to take a couple of hours just to wander around Toronto and snap pictures. I especially like going through the city on a hunt for fresh, original graffiti. I also enjoy collecting other people’s photography. I have several framed photos on my walls done by professional photographers. There’s one of a couple of tango performers dancing on a cobblestoned street in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That photo just brims with sensuality, passion, and style, and just looking at it always puts me in a great mood.
Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Thanks for reading, guys. Keep dreaming big. Keep developing your imagination, and don’t let anyone stifle your talent.
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